Painting to Promote Child Abuse Prevention Awareness

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- "Painting for Prevention" was the slogan for an event in Wilkes-Barre.

The color blue can be found in a few places on a mural that's being painted by students inside Meyers High School, especially where a ribbon marks the mural's purpose.

"United Way is partnering with the Family Support Alliance on Painting for Prevention, which is an effort at raising the awareness for the need for preventing child abuse and neglect in our community," said Jennifer Deemer from the United Way of Wyoming Valley.

As part of that effort, these organizations invited elementary school students from Kistler Elementary in Wilkes-Barre to help paint a mural.

Sixth grader Michael Vidzicki says he's painting for a good cause.

"Because I'm a child and you know I would not like to be abused, so yeah, I would also probably not like anyone else to be."

Organizers tell Newswatch 16 it is important for them to connect directly with children here in Pennsylvania in order to spread child abuse prevention awareness.

"In 2017, we had 40 children killed, so that's a lot in Pennsylvania, in our state in one year, so when you think about it, that would fill a school bus full of children. That's the level of maltreatment in our state," said Angela Liddle from the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance.

After these artists finish the mural, it will be showcased at an arts festival in Wilkes-Barre later this spring where it will spread its message beyond the school system.

"It feels very great. It's like I'm happy, but like I'm nervous. My mom will see it, and everybody will see it, and it will be fun," said third grader Dezinie Jacobs.

After that, the mural will then be taken to its permanent home in the Luzerne County Courthouse outside the district attorney's office.

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