North Central PA: Nonprofits join together to display child abuse prevention artwork

Area nonprofits recently came together to display artwork created in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The organizations behind the project include Geisinger Unity Group, Susquehanna Valley United Way Parents as Teachers, Columbia County Family Center, and the Nurse-Family Partnership, and the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance.

Children in each participating family painted canvases that featured a specific design for this year. The canvases were then displayed throughout Snyder, Union, Northumberland, Columbia, and Montour counties. Find photos of the displays below.

Families received thank you notes for their participation that told them to where to go to find their paintings in their communities. Each host site also displayed information about the importance of child abuse prevention along with the artwork. 

“A painted canvas displayed in the community might seem small, but it is a catalyst to start the needed discussions around Child Abuse Prevention at the community level,” said Stephanie Reitmeyer, Senior Director of Education at Susquehanna Valley United Way.

Ashley Mensch, Director of Columbia County Family Centers, said that “raising awareness of Child Abuse Prevention Month is crucial because it brings attention to the issue, educates people about signs and prevention strategies, and encourages action from the community to protect children and support families in need.”

Starting in 1983, April was designated Child Abuse Prevention Month. As part of the annual observance, organizations and communities commit to giving every child a chance to succeed, which calls for helping every child grows up in a safe, stable, and nurturing environment that is free from abuse and neglect.

“While child abuse is a tough subject to discuss with families, our partnership with Unity and PFSA allowed for the experience to be therapeutic with the painting project,” said Joanne Sloneem, Vice President of Education and Operations Officer at Susquehanna Valley United Way.

The paintings are currently on display throughout the five-county region and can be seen at local libraries and Geisinger Pediatric Centers, as well as the following organizations:

  • AGAPE, Love from Above to our Community
  • Berwick YMCA
  • Bloomsburg Public Library
  • Bloomsburg YMCA
  • Columbia Child Development Program
  • Columbia County Annex Building
  • Columbia County Courthouse
  • Columbia County Traveling Library (Central Branch)
  • Community Giving Foundation (Berwick)
  • Central Susquehanna Opportunities (Shamokin)
  • Danville Child Development Center
  • McBride Memorial Library
  • Montour County Administration Center
  • Montour County Courthouse
  • The Bloomsburg Children’s Museum
  • The Exchange
  • The Hub at Mulberry Mills
  • Union and Snyder Children and Youth Services

From North Central PA, May 2, 2024

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