Paint the town blue for National Child Abuse Prevention Month

OMHS students are selling blue ribbon wristbands and bows to raise money to aid families and children who have suffered neglect and abuse.  (contributed)

OMHS students are selling blue ribbon wristbands and bows to raise money to aid families and children who have suffered neglect and abuse. (contributed)

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Oak Mountain High School Peer Assistants are more than would meet the eye. These upper class students are selected to mentor incoming freshman during the difficult transition from middle to high school.

The peer assistants meet weekly with their small group and aim to make the transition easier by sharing past experiences and offering solutions to both social and academic challenges.

The group of 50 students took their responsibilities to another level this year. Senior Myrah Taylor, a peer assistant for three years, has been involved with children who have been neglected or abused since Taylor was introduced to Grace House Ministries as a child.

“While spending time with some of the girls, I heard some of the most heartfelt stories of neglect and abuse,” Taylor said.

Taylor became so passionate about this cause that she wrote and published a brochure, “Neglected and Abused Children.” This brochure is being used as an educational tool for the Peer assistants at OMHS.

“Students are perfectly positioned to recognize and report maltreatment of children,” Taylor said.

The Peer assistant sponsor is Mrs. Jennifer Gandy. OMHS is a national Blue Ribbon school under the direction of principle Joan Doyle.

Programs that aid families and children who have suffered neglect and abuse need financial support and the OMHS Peer assistants will host a Blue Ribbon fundraiser during the month of April.

To raise money, the group will sell blue ribbon wristbands to the students and blue ribbon bows, which can be placed on doors and mailboxes, to the parents. The funds raised will be donated to Owens House, Shelby County’s Child Advocacy Center.

“It is critical for every child to be equipped with the knowledge to help other children as recent studies indicate that 40 percent of children who experience abuse initially disclose details to another child rather than to an adult,” Executive Director Cindy Greer said.

To purchase bands or bows, please email NAACSOB@gmail.com.

For more information about Owens House, visit their website at Owenshousecac.org.