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Father Appreciation Event inspires, encourages South Jersey dads

Courier-PostMOUNT LAUREL – Bryant Brittingham was surprised to be awarded one of the Most Valuable Dad awards at Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey‘s first-ever Father Appreciation Event

“I’m not really one for awards. Everything I do, I do because I’m supposed to,” said the 41-year-old father of three from Camden.

The event, held earlier this month at the International Sports and Skating Center in Mount Laurel, celebrated fathers, offering inspiration and hope and providing them with information and resources to support their families.

“We want fathers to be actively engaged in their children’s lives,” said executive director of PCA-NJ Rush Russell. “This is an opportunity to get dads more involved.”

The night featured friendly games of flag football, pizza, free haircuts and racks of business attire, a job fair and resource offerings.

Jerome Allen, an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics, and professional motivational speaker Steve Perry offered words of wisdom and advice to the dads.

“The greatest way to show children you love them is to be vulnerable to them,” Perry said.

Faheem Lea, 47, of Camden and a father of four came specifically to hear Perry talk about fatherhood.

“Being a committed father, I’m trying to get some tips on how to do better and spread these tips to my community,” he said.

Kelly Gales, 41, of Cape May County appreciated the educational aspects of the event.

“I learned a lot here,” he said. “I got some valuable information that can save me later on in life.”

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Middlesex County CCYC Launches Barbers and Books Project

The Middlesex County Council for Young Children (CCYC) launched its Barbers and Books Project in February to coincide with Library Lovers Month. Containers with children’s books are placed in area barbershops so children – especially young males – have access to a variety of books. The Project is an innovative way to bridge literacy gaps by giving children books and helping to develop a love of reading. It encourages fathers to read to their children and play an important role in their ongoing education.

More than 1,000 new children’s books were donated by Barnes & Noble of East Brunswick and Bridge of Books. Participating barbershops include: Distinguished Ones, New Brunswick; B & B Barber Shop, Sayreville; Straightline, Perth Amboy; Metro Barbershop, Colonia; Kids Kuts, Woodbridge; and Precision Hair Studio, Old Bridge. Ruben Martinez of Distinguished Ones stated, “I am excited about the opportunity to make a difference in the community and to empower others.”

CCYC Program Coordinator Ediza Lahoz Valentino added, “Literacy gives children the opportunity to exercise their brain, develop their imagination, improve concentration and learn about the world around them. Our Barbers and Books Project is an example of how small organized efforts can make a big difference in our communities to improve the lives of children.” Continue reading

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When Is It Your Responsibility To Step In Against Suspected Abuse?

Image result for cbs news new york 2018 logoNEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The case in which 13 malnourished siblingswere reportedly kept captive in filthy conditions by their parents in California has raised a multitude of questions, like whether or not the neighbors should have gotten involved.

Should they have seen, or done something? In the same circumstance, what would you do? Every few years there’s a case of child abuse or neglect that’s so horrific it makes us question ourselves.

Some New Yorkers offered up what they think they’d do.

“My first instinct as a New Yorker is to mind my business, but if I sensed there’s something wrong then kids need help,” Astoria resident Hampton Gathers said.

 “I think people are hesitant to call, especially on a neighbor or especially here where your neighbors are so close,” Upper West Side resident Eve Epstein said. “What if you made a mistake?”

Fear of being wrong and a desire to “just stay out of it” keep a lot of people from calling child welfare agencies when they see odd things, but experts tell CBS2’s Elise Finch that people need to try to think of it differently.

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We All Can Fight Sexual Harrassment

By Rush L. Russel; The Times 

Regarding continuing stories about Harvey Weinstein and victims of sexual abuse:

It’s inspiring to see the many courageous stories from women disclosing incidents of sexual abuse by men in power positions in Hollywood, in sports and in politics.  We hope leaders and the media will devote increasing attention to what it will take to stop this from happening.

Youth-serving organizations, including sports organizations and schools, can adopt codes of conduct to prohibit “boundary-violating” behaviors that offenders use to groom potential victims.  Co-workers can be educated to watch for and report inappropriate behavior.  Schools should be prohibited from signing “nondisclosure” agreements when terminating an employee for sexual misconduct.  Parents and co-workers can be educated about sexual-abuse prevention and take simple steps to be more vigilant.

We need to shift the conversations from past crimes to smarter policies and solutions.  Everyone can play a role.

The Times of Trenton

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How the USA Gymnastics child sexual abuse scandal was preventable

By Rush L. Russell; The Star Ledgar

TheStarLedgarA major investigation published by the Indianapolis Star recently uncovered pervasive failings by USA Gymnastics to report cases of child sexual abuse by coaches.

Sound familiar?

The story repeats many of the same elements as the Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State in 2011. In each case, it appears the institutions were more interested in protecting their reputations than reporting horrific crimes happening in clear view on their watch.

How many times does this have to happen before we take stronger action? What needs to happen to stop it now?

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Home health visits can ease child-care stress

By Rush L. Russell, Daily Record

DailyRecordWe have now experienced two party political conventions and are headed into the final stretch before the presidential election in November. Major issues dominating the race include terrorism, the economy and jobs, health care, race relations, crime and law enforcement, immigration, and international relations.

It may not be unusual for a presidential campaign, but rarely, if ever, will you hear a word spoken about our children and what can be done to create stronger, healthier, and successful families and a more competitive workforce for our future.

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It’s almost April: Time to make purple baby hats

By , Courier News

It’s almost April, time to make some purple baby hats for the third year, I’m inviting readers to make purple baby hats for Click for Babies.

For the third year, I’m inviting readers to make purple baby hats for the Click for Babies campaign. This is a project started by the National Center for Shaken Baby Syndrome, which partners in the Garden State with Prevent Child Abuse NJ to distribute educational packets to the parents of newborns about the dangers of shaking their infants. A hand-made purple baby hat is included with every packet.

Why purple? Read full article

 

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