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TYLER, April 3, 2014— In recognition of Child Abuse Awareness Month, the St. Louis Early Childhood Center will host the annual Smith County Child Abuse Awareness Program sponsored by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. The ceremony titled “Butterfly Kisses…for the Children” aims to raise awareness about child abuse and pay tribute to the victims of abuse and neglect.
During the ceremony, Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith will read a proclamation declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Smith County. Representatives from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Tyler ISD, Tyler ISD Board of Trustees, Tyler City Council, Smith County Sheriff’s Office, Northeast Texas Disproportionality Advisory Board, and the Child Advocacy Center will also speak. St. Louis Head Start students will sing along with special guests from Jarvis Christian College. The ceremony will conclude with a balloon release to represent the hope for a better and safer childhood for the children of Smith County.
In 2013, there were 506 confirmed victims of child abuse in Smith County. At Friday’s ceremony, a pair of shoes and a butterfly will be on display around the campus to serve as a visual representation of each child abuse victim.
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