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Monday, November 19 , 2018, 6:32 am | Fair 48º


CALM Encourages Awareness to Prevent Abuse Tragedies

Presentations and resources are available at no cost to local schools and government

In the wake of the tragic child abuse scandals in the news, most recently at Miramonte School in Los Angeles, CALM, the Santa Barbara nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse, hopes to increase awareness about its school-based prevention programs in the community.

In an era of shrinking budgets and diminishing resources for schools nationwide, CALM continues to supply education, resources and training on child abuse prevention to schools in Santa Barbara County.

Provided at no cost to school districts or local government, CALM is available to give presentations to all local schools. Held over two sessions, CALM’s prevention and parenting coordinator, Ann Bryant, teaches age-appropriate lessons on topics such as bullying, verbal abuse, Internet safety and “Good Touch, Bad Touch.” In addition to working with children of all ages, from preschool up through high school, Bryant provides training for educators and school staff on proper protocols related to mandated child abuse reporting.

CALM is also available to come to parent meetings to speak about child abuse and ways to prevent such tragedies. These presentations are interactive and include video and print materials for the children that are age-appropriate.

“It is vital for parents to check with their children’s schools, after-care programs and sports teams to see if all people involved with child activities, volunteers and paid staff, are fingerprinted and background checked,” Bryant said. “Often, parents assume that these measures have already been checked, but unfortunately, these checks are not always up to date or even existent at all.”

CALM has spent the past 40 years developing a culture of openness in the community, and taking a pro-active stance in the continuing struggle against child abuse. By partnering with local school districts and day camps, CALM seeks to widen the community of responsibility — giving children the tools to protect themselves, and adults the resources to protect children.

To find out more about scheduling a school visit, or for more information about all of CALM’s services, click here or call 805.965.2376.

— Jennifer Guess is a publicist representing CALM.

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