Every child is filled with remarkable promise. It’s our shared responsibility to protect and nurture that potential. If we want to help children thrive, we must work to strengthen the environment  in which children grow: their families and their community. During April’s Child Abuse Prevention Month, Regional Child Abuse Prevention Councils across Arizona hosted community events to celebrate family strengths and deepen community commitment to supporting families.

Prevent Child Abuse Arizona leads the Yavapai County Regional Child Abuse Prevention Council, Yavapai Communities for Kids, which hosted the sixth annual Pinwheel Party on April 15 to provide families with opportunities to create positive memories and learn about supportive resources in their community. The event centered around the Protective Factors Passport, a booklet that organized all 30 community resource tables by the five Strengthening Families Protective Factors that help families weather life’s ups and downs: Parental Resilience, Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development, Social Connections, Concrete Support, and Social and Emotional Competence of Children. The passport guided families through the event’s community resources. When families filled their passport with stamps from resource booths, all children received a free prize, and parents received a raffle ticket to win one of a dozen prizes – including gift cards and two children’s bikes!

One participant shared: “The Pinwheel Party was AMAZING. This is the best community outreach event I have ever been to. This is something every community should have.”

Other FREE event activities included:

  • Animal encounters with the Heritage Park Zoo
  • Hot air balloon provided by Chick-Fil-A
  • Balloon artist extraordinaire
  • Free massages for parents
  • Bubble magic by George with Unlimited Bubbles
  • Food trucks, including hot dogs and Navajo tacos
  • Family yoga
  • Inflatable slide
  • An immunization clinic (stock available for insured and uninsured families)
  • Magic 99.1 Music
  • A Prescott Valley Police Department patrol car
  • A Bikers Against Child Abuse motorcycle

One of the challenges of our work is visualizing prevention. After all, it’s hard to picture what is not happening. When abuse does not occur, what takes its place? The answer is joy. Prevention made visible is JOY! Please enjoy these pictures from the Pinwheel Party that capture the wild joy of childhood.