Provided by Prince William County
Each year in April, Prince William County staff, officials and residents get together and “plant” a pinwheel garden as part of “Pinwheels for Prevention.” This is a national campaign to recognize the importance of safe, stable and nurturing environments for all children. Blue pinwheels are meant to reflect the bright future all children deserve.
Theresa Wilson, a Prince William County Department of Social Services family services manager, welcomed the group of people who recently planted this year’s pinwheel garden at the Sean T. Connaughton Plaza at the McCoart Government Center.
Wilson said that it’s everyone’s responsibility to help children grow safely. “When children grow in safe, stable and nurturing environments, they thrive, and they pay it back by being productive and responsible citizens.”
On behalf of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, Chairman Corey Stewart declared April as Child Abuse Prevention Month and said that the county is committed to programs that help prevent child abuse and neglect.
“Every child has the right to live rather than exist, to be a person rather than a possession and to be equal with every other human being regardless of their age,” Stewart read from the county’s proclamation. “All children deserve loving hugs, warm homes, tender care from parents and adults that make them feel safe, happy and loved.”
Alice Harris, a Department of Social Services family services worker, said that she hopes that seeing the pinwheel gardens will get people thinking and talking. “I think if people were to drive by and see blue pinwheels blowing in the wind, they would wonder what that’s about and check it out; and that would start a conversation.”
She hopes that if people start talking, they’ll learn something. “The idea of planting a garden is symbolic of what it takes, the effort and care that is needed for people to help children grow up healthy and happy. The hope is that the community can recognize… what they can do to help children grow up in healthy, stable environments.”
For more information about child abuse prevention, visit pwcgov.org/dss. If you suspect an incident of child abuse, call the Child Abuse Prevention Hotline at 703-792-4200.