By Jesse Wood
In conjunction with April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Boone Mayor Rennie Brantz officially declared the week of April 10, 2016 as “Week of the Young Child in Boone” during a proclamation at the Boone Mall on Monday afternoon.
To celebrate these “efforts to ensure all children have the safe, stable, nurturing environments they need to thrive,” The Children’s Council of Watauga County is holding an art exhibit at the Boone Mall this week.
In a release, The Children’s Council noted that the future success of North Carolina relies on the healthy development of children and encouraged the citizenry to learn about the effects, both short and long term, of child abuse and neglect on the child and community.
“Child and youth development is the foundation for community and economic development,” Children’s Council Family Service Coordinator Robin Triplett said. “When children experience abuse and neglect the architecture of their maturing brains is damaged. If left unaddressed, this leads to poor outcomes for the child and the community. These effects include academic failure, chronic long-term health issues, and increased crime rates and violence.”
In the proclamation, Brantz noted that The Children’s Council and other local organizations are working to improve early learning opportunities and literacy programs and thanked and recognized teachers and others “who make a difference in the lives of young children in Watauga County.”
After reading the proclamation to those in attendance, Mayor Brantz said, “This is an important moment each year when we remember the importance of children and how they contribute to our lives and how they shape our future. So I am very pleased to be here and represent the Town of Boone at this ceremony.”
The children’s art, which consists of a variety of mediums and artistic styles, will be on display for this entire week. The only theme was for the students to have fun being creative.
This exhibition at the mall features art from at various local child care centers including Precious and Few Family Child Care Home, Lucy Brock Child Development Center at ASU and the Green Valley Pre-K program, among others.
Crystal Kelly, the executive director of The Children’s Council, thanked those in attendance for celebrating the Week of the Young Child and Child Abuse Prevention Month.
“The Children’s Council works to ensure a safe and stable community for children to have nurturing relationships, so they can thrive to their fullest potential,” Kelly said.