October 23, 2013 —
A Child Abuse and Safety Symposium will take place on October 26 from 1 to 3 p.m., at the auditorium of the Dingman-Delaware Middle School on State Route 739.
The free program’s goals include breaking the cycle of silence about child abuse, and promoting empowerment and prevention through awareness. The program sponsor, Pike County United Women, is asking the public to “work together now to stop events that could change the course of a child’s life forever.”
The program comes as new legislation has been introduced in Harrisburg to change the definition of child abuse.
Scheduled symposium participants include state Senator Lisa Baker, state Representative Rosemary Brown, Pike County Sheriff Phil Bueki, Diane Quintiliani and David Bever of Safe Haven of Pike County, child advocate Tammy Gillette and Brian Goldsack for the child safety puppet program Spotty Mcgoo and Friends, seen on Facebook.
The creation of Brian Goldsack and his mother, Yolanda Goldsack, Spotty Mcgoo and Friends features puppet video programs for children ages three to 10, to teach them about taking ownership of their bodies and that their voices will be listened to.
One of the program’s puppet characters, General Sparky McPatton, has a military mission to eradicate child abuse in the video “This is War.” Pike County Commissioner Rich Caridi performs McPatton’s voice in the video.
Caridi told the commissioners’ meeting audience that he has been told, and colleague Karl Wagner confirmed, that he has military style in his speech, which prompted the invitation. “I was proud and honored to participate. Child abuse is an epidemic,” he said.
Visit Pike County United Women on Facebook for more on the program.