By Josh Presley
Sally Kate Winters Family Services hosted its annual Child Abuse Prevention Parade Tuesday in downtown West Point.
The children lined up in front of the West Point/Clay County Growth Alliance on Broad Street, then went down Commerce Street over to Market Street and ended on East Street to make a block around Sally Kate Winters Park.
West Point Police Chief Tim Brinkley led the parade, followed by a truck from the West Point Fire Department.
Sally Kate Winters Child Services Outreach Coordinator Heather Usry said elementary students from Oak Hill Academy, West Clay Elementary School, Catherine Bryan Preschool, Clay County Day Care, First Methodist Day Care and First Baptist Day Care, as well as members of the Beta Club from West Point High School.
Usry said the teachers were given this year’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month theme of “Look, Listen, Respond,” and each class made its own sign or banner to represent the class.
“I saw a lot of banners encouraging adults and children to look for signs of abuse, to listen to children and any indications of distress,” Usry said.
Usry said the parade is a good way to include children in SKW’s cause and give them a fun, festive activity in which to be involved.
“It’s really sweet to see all the kids with the signs they’d made,” Usry said. “We have to give a lot of credit to teachers getting behind the idea of the parade and getting the kids involved.”
Oak Hill Elementary teacher Michelle Williamson the kids were very excited to be a part of the parade.
“Our kids all made signs they wore around their necks and we wore blue,” Williamson said. “Sally Kate Winters has also been great about giving us activity pages and helping us talk to the children about ways to prevent and report abuse.”
Oak Hill Elementary teacher Ashleigh Flurry said the parade was a great way for the kids to learn about child abuse prevention.
“They understand that there are other children out there and that they should watch out for each other,” Flurry said.
West Point High School Senior Beta Club Sponsor Antwounette Jones-Taylor said that the parade has always involved younger students, and this year was an opportunity to involved older children.
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