By Senior Airman Naomi Griego
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Babies being pushed in buggies, toddlers tromping and preschoolers strolling with members of the Child Development Center staff while holding blue, purple and teal pinwheels filled the pinwheel parade in front of the CDC April 30 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.
April marked Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month, Child Abuse Awareness month and Month of the Military Child. Each color of the pinwheel represents one of the themes. Blue represents Child Abuse Awareness Month, teal represents SAAPM and purple represents Month of the Military Child.
In support of awareness, one hundred pinwheels line the front lawn of the CDC here as well as other locations on base including the 50th Space Wing Headquarters balcony.
The pinwheels are part of the “Pinwheels for Prevention” campaign to prevent the abuse and neglect of children. Shining in the sun, the pinwheels represent a bright future for children and our community.
Paula Krause, Schriever sexual assault response coordinator, said the event was intended to be fun but informative.
“It’s a celebration, but also a reminder,” said Krause. “We want our children to have safe, healthy and stable environments.”
She said her office teamed with Family Advocacy to promote awareness about child abuse. She said the pinwheels add a layer of tangibility to the cause.
“It’s a visual reminder that attracts attention,” she said. “It’s just like the mannequins we put up in April. People started asking, ‘What are the pinwheels for?’”
Cecilia Smith, sexual assault victim advocate, said she sees firsthand how impactful these events and symbols are to the base.
“I know people read the signs we put up,” Smith said. “People are taking the time to get informed.”
Krause and Smith both hope that through their outreach, training and even their fun events, such as the recent inflatable 5K run, people will stay informed and feel comfortable reaching out.
Krause and Smith said their motivation and passion comes from the stories of the people they meet.
“We see the impact,” said Krause. “It makes me want to work harder.”
Smith said their office receives acknowledgment from individuals often for helping them.
“It’s what we’re here for,” she said.
For more information, contact the SAPR office at 567-7634.