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Published on April 21, 2017

Arkansas Children's Trust Fund partners with Gundersen NCPTC to help keep kids safe

More than 261,000 children throughout the state of Arkansas will benefit from new child abuse prevention education, thanks to the collaboration of Arkansas Children's Trust Fund and Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center (Gundersen NCPTC).

In 2015, the Arkansas Legislative Task Force on Child Abuse Prevention recommended that all elementary schools implement a prevention-oriented child sexual abuse program. They developed a set of critical guidelines for all schools to follow.

During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Arkansas Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board has provided every elementary school in the state with an Empower Me! K-6 Grade Child Abuse Prevention Education Kit.

Developed by Gundersen NCPTC, the Empower Me! educational kit provides materials to aid in teaching children about personal safety in an empowering and positive way. The program will have the potential to reach more than 261,000 K-6 students in Arkansas very school year.

"We are extremely excited to support the Arkansas Children's Trust Fund with this project. We admire their dedication to the kids in Arkansas by providing this important gift of prevention education and hope it inspires communities across the nation to take action," states Danielle Luckner, manager, Gundersen NCPTC.

The Empower Me! curriculum focuses on topics such as:

  • Checking first with the adult in charge before going anywhere with anyone
  • Identifying five adults who make up their safety net
  • Listening to their "uh-oh" feeling
  • Understanding that no touch should ever be a secret

"Gundersen NCPTC designed this kit to help facilitate important conversations so kids can walk around smart, not scared. My hope is that all children in Arkansas will be able to identify unsafe and unwanted touches, know how to refuse those touches and know who they can turn to for help. And for children who have experienced sexual abuse already, I hope the Empower Me! curriculum will help them find the words and the courage to report the abuse so adults can stop it and make sure it never happens again," says Sherri Jo McLemore, director, Arkansas Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board.

Gundersen NCPTC believes it's a kid's job to be a kid and an adult's job to keep them safe. Visit gundersenhealth.org/ncptc for resources and more information. To learn more about the Arkansas Children's Trust Fund, go to arkansasctf.org or call (501) 664-2227.

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