A Month in Review: Child Abuse Prevention Month 2024

A Month in Review: Child Abuse Prevention Month 2024

Child Abuse Prevention Month was a huge success!

Thank you to everyone who made April so special. Here at Illuminate, we are inspired by Colorado’s commitment to strengthening families and ensuring all children grow up healthy and thriving.

Join us as we look back on all of the amazing people, events, and progress that made 2024’s Child Abuse Prevention Month great!

We started off the month at the Colorado State Capitol for Pinwheels in the Chambers.

As the Child Abuse Prevention Month tribute was read on the Senate floor by five legislators, we filled the galleries with pinwheels to show our support for family strengthening policies in Colorado and beyond.

April 5th was Wear Blue Day!

Illuminate Colorado staff from across the state showed their commitment to building brighter childhoods by wearing blue and a smile.

At the 2024 Pinwheel Breakfast, we celebrated outstanding leaders in prevention by presenting six Leadership Awards.

We raised money to support families and prevent child maltreatment in Colorado!

On April 27th, we teamed up with Little Man Ice Cream to raise money for family strengthening programs. Guests chatted with Illuminate staff about our work, participated in fun giveaways, and 15% of the proceeds from the afternoon were donated to Illuminate!

Throughout the month of April, and largely due to our first ever National Day of Giving, we were able to raise over $18,200 to support our mission of preventing child maltreatment! We couldn’t have done it without the help of our generous supporters, so thank you!

That’s a wrap!

Thank you for joining us for yet another inspiring and energizing Child Abuse Prevention Month.

While Child Abuse Prevention Month may be over, our mission is far from complete. Preventing child maltreatment is an ongoing effort that requires the continued support of dedicated individuals like you.

Here are two things you can do right now to stay involved:

Learn about Our Work

Learn more about Illuminate’s work and how you can get involved by visiting our Programs & Initiatives page.

Become a Luminary

You can make a lasting impact by becoming a Luminary—a monthly donor to Illuminate Colorado. Your recurring donation will help sustain our vital programs and initiatives, ensuring that we can continue our work year-round.

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From the Photo Journal: Illuminate’s 2024 Pinwheel Breakfast

From the Photo Journal: Illuminate’s 2024 Pinwheel Breakfast

On April 24th, we celebrated outstanding leaders in child maltreatment prevention at our 2024 Pinwheel Breakfast. 

We were inspired, not only by our award recipients, but also by everyone who is committed to strengthening families, organizations, and communities to prevent child maltreatment.

Weren’t able to make it? Don’t worry–we took photos!

Join us as we look back on all of the fun we had celebrating Colorado’s leaders in prevention!

We started off the morning by welcoming guests to the Denver Children’s Museum and joining everyone for breakfast.

Colleagues, friends, and supporters of family strengthening efforts mingled and built connections before the awards begun. Many guests were able to read Illuminate’s 2023 Annual Report for the first time! 

Onto our speakers!

To kick off the event, Jade Woodard, Illuminate’s Executive Director, provided opening remarks and spoke on the importance of recognizing the individuals and organizations in our communities who work tirelessly to help children and families thrive.

Jade then introduced guest speaker Niki W. Gill Adams, M. Ed, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility at the Colorado Department of Early Childhood.

Niki discussed how our communities can thrive when all families are encouraged to show up exactly as they are, regardless of race, culture, and background, to receive the support they need.

She explained that we are ALL leaders when it comes to strengthening families, and it is up to us to decide what type of leaders we will be.

Next, the awards!

Anne Auld, one of Illuminate’s Deputy Directors, presented the Community Leadership Award to Lisa Blake.

Lisa has been a force in multiple coalitions and networks supported by Illuminate. As a lived experience expert, Lisa brings valuable insight to The Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families and CO-ECCS, two initiatives working to build systems and communities that help families thrive.

Left to right: Anne Auld, Lisa Blake, Jade Woodard.

Angela Shehorn (left) and Eric Chervenak (right).

Eric Chervenak, Illuminate’s Child Care Operations Manager, presented the Dynamic Leadership Award to Angela Shehorn.

Angela leads a team of nine dedicated individuals who serve children and families in 11 counties in southeastern Colorado, and has been an instrumental force in the effort to relaunch Illuminating Child Care services in southeastern Colorado.

Lex Loutzenhiser, Illuminate’s Policy Manager, presented the Courageous Leadership Award to Representative Chris deGruy Kennedy.

Rep. deGruy Kennedy has a record as a champion of policy changes that strengthen families and prevent child maltreatment, most notably through his role as Chair on the Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Study Committee.

Left to right: Jade Woodard, Rep. deGruy Kennedy, Lex Loutzenhiser.

Left to right: Jade Woodard, Dr. Nia Cantey, Kelly Sim, Jillian Fabricius.

Jillian Fabricius, one of Illuminate’s Deputy Directors, presented the Catalytic Leadership Award to Casey Family Programs.

Casey Family Programs has made strategic investments over many years to catalyze programmatic and systems change work in the state of Colorado, with a particular emphasis on building Colorado’s capacity for including people with lived experience.

Kelli Sutton, an Illuminate Strategic Initiatives Manager, presented the Innovative Leadership Award to Dr. Lauren Bruns.

Dr. Bruns has shown an unwavering commitment and innovative approach to improving outcomes for birthing people and infants. Dr. Bruns is leading change and reform across Colorado in order to support equity for our most vulnerable and underserved populations.

Dr. Lauren Bruns (left) and Kelli Sutton (right).

Left to right: Toni Miner, Judge Gail Meinster, Jade Woodard.

Toni Miner, Illuminate’s Circle of Parents Recovery Program Manager, presented the Lori Moriarty Leadership Award to Judge Gail Meinster.

Judge Meinster is the Presiding Juvenile Judge for the First Judicial District in Colorado and hears delinquency, dependency and neglect, and domestic relation cases, and presides over the Family Integrated Treatment Court, a dependency and neglect drug court. Her entire career – on the bench, as a county attorney, and as a nonprofit leader – has been dedicated to supporting families.

Thanks for joining us!

Learn more about child abuse prevention and get involved at COPinwheelsforPrevention.org.

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The Spectrum of Prevention in Action: Pinwheels for Prevention Builds Public Awareness of Child Abuse Prevention

The Spectrum of Prevention in Action: Pinwheels for Prevention Builds Public Awareness of Child Abuse Prevention

Welcome to the third installment of the 2024 Blog Series: The Spectrum of Prevention in Action!

Over the course of the year, join us as we take a deep dive into each component of the Spectrum of Prevention – Supporting Families through Direct Service, Building Public Awareness, Educating Communities & Professionals, Fostering Networks, and Influencing Policy – and how the Spectrum comes to life in Illuminate’s work

Used nationally to address complex public issues, the Spectrum of Prevention outlines a range of prevention strategies across different levels of influence within a community or society. Illuminate’s programs and initiatives strategically span an adapted version of the Spectrum of Prevention, ensuring a holistic and lasting approach to building brighter childhoods. By adapting and employing the Spectrum of Prevention, we can target prevention efforts at various levels, from building individual knowledge and skills to influencing policies and legislation.

Learn more about Illuminate’s Strategies & Frameworks.

Today, let’s explore how the Pinwheels for Prevention campaign focuses on building public awareness of child abuse prevention.

Building public awareness focuses on raising awareness and educating the public about the issues that impact our mission. By increasing public awareness, the aim is to stimulate conversations, change attitudes, and create a foundation for further action.

Throughout the year, and especially during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, Illuminate Colorado builds public awareness of Child Abuse Prevention through the Pinwheels for Prevention campaign.

It all started in 2008 when Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel as the new national symbol for child abuse prevention through Pinwheels for Prevention.

 

By its very nature, the pinwheel connotes whimsy and childlike notions. In essence, it has come to serve as the physical embodiment, or reminder, of the bright childhoods we want for all children.

Maybe you’ve seen gardens of pinwheels planted in the community and wondered, why? It’s because pinwheels represent the vibrant and safe childhoods that all children deserve.

The Pinwheels for Prevention campaign provides a unique opportunity for all of us, individuals and organizations alike, to take action by learning more about prevention, supporting child and family friendly policies and services, and volunteering at the local, state, and national levels.

The Pinwheels for Prevention campaign is composed of several strategies, including

  • A Social Media Campaign

    Download the toolkit here.

  • An Advocacy-focused Event at the State Capitol

    Pinwheels in the Chambers: A Day in Photos.

  • Publicly Celebrating Leaders in Prevention

    Join us on April 24th for the 2024 Pinwheel Breakfast!

  • Educational Trainings and Community Events

    Check out the Community Calendar.

The goal is that with each passing year, individuals will do more than just admire the pinwheels they see in their communities, and be inspired to get involved by learning more about child abuse prevention, attending events, and advocating for family strengthening policies. 

Child Abuse Prevention Month is happening right now!

And it’s not too late to get involved.

Become a campaign partner, register for trainings, and find events in your community at COPinwheelsforPrevention.org

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A Day in Photos: Pinwheels in the Chambers 2024

A Day in Photos: Pinwheels in the Chambers 2024

On April 1st, Illuminate Colorado and our partners gathered at the Colorado State Capitol to kick off Child Abuse Prevention Month (CAPM).

As the CAPM tribute was read on the Senate floor by five legislators, we filled the galleries with pinwheels to show our support for family strengthening policies in Colorado and beyond.

Weren’t able to make it? Don’t worry–we took photos!

Follow along as we take a look back at our morning at the Capitol…

We started off the morning in the West Foyer, connecting with partners in prevention from across the state.

After having a chance to mingle, Lex Loutzenhiser (Illuminate’s Policy Manager) welcomed everyone, and Jade Woodard (Illuminate’s Executive Director) reminded us of the purpose of CAPM and the importance of family strengthening.

Lex Loutzenhiser, Policy Manager.

Jade Woodard, Executive Director.

We then heard from Rep. Judy Amabile on what prevention means to families and communities, and why we need to prioritize our youngest Coloradans in policy.

Representative Judy Amabile.

Next, we were off to the Senate galleries!

Illuminate Colorado and Colorado School Safety Resource Center staff.

Senator Rhonda Fields led the Child Abuse Prevention Month tribute and was joined by Senators Jeff Bridges, Janet Buckner, Dafna Michaelson Jenet, Rachel Zenzinger, Cleave Simpson, Barbara Kirkmeyer, and Tony Exum Sr.

The Child Abuse Prevention Month tribute.

Sens. Jeff Bridges, Janet Buckner, Dafna Michaelson Jenet, Rhonda Fields, Rachel Zenzinger, Cleave Simpson, Barbara Kirkmeyer, and Tony Exum Sr.

Illuminate staff and partners then took a moment to celebrate a successful start to Child Abuse Prevention Month!

Senators Tony Exum Sr, Dafna Michaelson Jenet, and Rhonda Fields. Staff from Illuminate Colorado, Raise the Future, Child Protection Ombudsman’s office, Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC), Family Resource Center Association, Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF), Kempe Center, and Kempe Foundation.

Members of Illuminate Colorado, Raise the Future, Child Protection Ombudsman’s office, CDEC, Family Resource Center Association, CDHS (OCYF), Kempe Center, and Kempe Foundation.

Jade Woodard and Reps. Judy Amabile, Chad Clifford, and Cathy Kipp.

Thank You for Joining Us!

Be sure to stay up to date all month long–we are looking forward to great events, trainings, and much more! 

Illuminate Colorado staff (and baby Ansel)!

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Join Us on April 24th for our Pinwheel Breakfast!

Join Us on April 24th for our Pinwheel Breakfast!

Join us for a morning filled with inspiration at our 2024 Pinwheel Breakfast, where we not only honor Child Abuse Prevention Month but also acknowledge and celebrate outstanding leaders in our community.

Be inspired, applaud their achievements, and join in the collective celebration for a brighter future.

Illuminate Colorado annually honors the contributions of exceptional individuals and organizations who have furthered our collective mission to strengthen families, organizations and communities to prevent child maltreatment.

In 2021, Illuminate began a practice of asking all of our employees to consider making nominations to help identify those they have worked with who deserve recognition.

Let’s take a look back at a few of 2023’s awardees

Illuminate Colorado Executive Director Jade Woodard, Jessica Courtney and Rewa Bailey of Mile High Behavioral Healthcare (winners of the 2023 Dynamic Leadership Award), and Illuminate Colorado Director of Family Support Joan Holtz.

 

 

Illuminate Colorado Executive Director Jade Woodard, Daphne McCabe of Boulder County Public Health (winner of the 2023 Innovative Leadership Award), and Illuminate Colorado Director of Home Visitation Angelica Fox.

 

This year’s award categories and winners are:

Community Leadership Award

The Community Leadership Award recognizes an individual or group who have dedicated an extraordinary amount of their time and openly share their experiences to further systemic change and strengthen families in Colorado.

2024 Winner: Lisa Blake

Lisa is a tireless champion for children and families in her community and throughout the state.

Dynamic Leadership Award

The Dynamic Leadership Award recognizes an individual, group, or organization who has dedicated time, expertise, and experiences to collaboratively implement programs and partner on initiatives with Illuminate and their communities to strengthen families in Colorado.

2024 Winner: Angela Shehorn

Angie has been instrumental in relaunching Illuminating Child Care services in Southeastern Colorado.

Courageous Leadership Award

The Courageous Leadership Award recognizes an individual or group in elected office or public employment for distinguished service prioritizing the prevention of child maltreatment and strengthening families. 

2024 Winner: Rep. deGruy Kennedy

Rep. deGruy Kennedy is a champion of many policy concepts that strengthen families and prevent child maltreatment.

 

Catalytic Leadership Award

The Catalytic Leadership Award honors an individual, group, or organization who has invested or inspired philanthropic investment to accelerate the prevention of child maltreatment and strengthen families in Colorado.

2024 Winner: Casey Family Programs

Casey Family Programs strategically invests in programmatic and systems change work in Colorado, specifically around including people with lived experience.

 

Innovative Leadership Award

The Innovative Leadership Award recognizes an individual, group, or organization who has made significant contributions to the field of child maltreatment prevention. 

2024 Winner: Dr. Lauren Bruns

Dr. Bruns is committed to improving outcomes for birthing people and infants in an innovative way.

 

Lori Moriarty Leadership Award

The Lori Moriarty Leadership Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated lifetime achievements in their career that exemplify the dedication and character displayed by the late Commander Lori Moriarty.

2024 Winner: Judge Gail Meinster

Judge Meinster has done great work to protect children throughout her career.

Join us this year to celebrate the 2024 awardees!

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Join Us on April 1st for Pinwheels in the Chambers!

Join Us on April 1st for Pinwheels in the Chambers!

Help Illuminate fill the galleries of the state legislative chambers as Child Abuse Prevention Month tributes are being read.

Be sure to wear blue and join us in the West Foyer of the Colorado State Capitol–Illuminate will bring the pinwheels!

Servicios de traducción están disponibles (ver más abajo).

Every year, partners from around the state join us at the Colorado State Capitol to celebrate Child Abuse Prevention Month as tributes are read by legislators.

Are you committed to fostering healthy, thriving communities, families, and children?

We want YOU to join us on April 1st!

Check Out Some of the Action from Years Past:

State Senators Rhonda Fields and Barbara Kirkmeyer with members of Illuminate Colorado, Raise the Future, Kempe Foundation and Kempe Center, Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Department of Early Childhood, and the Child Protection Ombudsman of Colorado. (2023)

 

State Representative Judy Amabile reading the Child Abuse Prevention Month Tribute on the House floor. (2023)

 

All Are Welcome!

Here’s What You Can Expect:

8:30-9:00am: Informal welcome and mingle/networking in West Foyer

9:00-9:30am: Opening Comments from Jade Woodard, Executive Director of Illuminate Colorado, and Child Abuse Prevention Month Senate and House Tribute Sponsors

9:30-10:00am: Head to Senate gallery

10:00-12:00pm: Witness tribute in Senate Gallery (snacks and break space available in West Foyer)

Interested in becoming an organizational sponsor of the event?

If your organization is committed to promoting the day and has at least three of your team members RSVP and attend, you’ll be recognized as a sponsor on the day. 

Questions?

Email Lex Loutzenhiser at lloutzenhiser@illuminatecolorado.org

Stay Up to Date throughout Child Abuse Prevention Month

Visit COPinwheelsForPrevention.org

Servicios de traducción están disponibles.

¡Acompáñenos en la celebración de Pinwheels en las Cámaras!

¡Únase a nosotros el 1 de abril para Pinwheels en las Cámaras!

Ayúdenos a llenar las galerías de las cámaras legislativas estatales mientras se leen
los homenajes del Mes de la Prevención del Abuso Infantil. ¡Asegúrese de vestirse de
azul
 y únase a nosotros en el vestíbulo oeste del Capitolio del Estado de Colorado-
Illuminate traerá los rehiletes!

Conviértase en un patrocinador organizacional del evento: Si su organización se
compromete a promover el día y tiene al menos tres de los miembros de su equipo que
confirmen su asistencia y asistan, usted será reconocido como patrocinador en el día.

Agenda:
8:30-9:00am Bienvenida informal y “networking” en el vestíbulo oeste.
9:00-9:30am Comentarios de apertura de Jade Woodard, Director Ejecutivo de Illuminate
Colorado, y CAPM Senado y Cámara de Homenaje a los patrocinadores
9:30-10:00am Diríjase a la galería del Senado
10:00-12:00pm Testigo homenaje en la Galería del Senado (aperitivos y espacio de descanso
disponible en West Foyer)

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