March 30, 2012

Play Day in the Park kicks off Child Abuse Prevention Month, April 6

by Laura Mowry
Staff Writer
Air Force photograph by Kenji Thuloweit
The Edwards community came out during the warm afternoon April 1 last year to kick off National Child Abuse Awareness month with Play Day in the Park at Arnold Park. This year's event will be held April 6 at the Community Park located across the street from the Child Development Center.

Team Edwards is invited to kick off Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Month of the Military Child with the 95th Medical Group’s annual Play Day in the Park event April 6 between 1 p.m. and 5 the Community Park located across the street from the Child Development Center.

The event will provide a fun, family-friendly environment where children and adults can learn about preventing child abuse.

“This is an event honoring children. It is geared toward children but is also inclusive for families,” said Ebony Degrate-Graves, 95th Medical Operations Squadron Family Advocacy program assistant. “The event gives children and adults time to play and have fun, while still providing an educational environment. We want adults to feel welcome because they play a critical role in preventing child abuse.”

This year’s event includes a special ceremony scheduled for 3 p.m. when Col. Gregory E. Schwab, 95th Air Base Wing commander, will sign a proclamation declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“At Family Advocacy, our goal is to prevent family mistreatment,” said Elaine Estacio, 95th MDOS Family Advocacy program manager. “We are extremely excited about the support from base leadership. This is such an important issue and we really want this to be a community-wide event.”


In addition to the proclamation signing, there are numerous activities planned for children of all ages. There will be face painting, a photography booth, a military working dog demonstration, an obstacle course for children ages 8 to 18 years old and two bouncy castles.

The Air Force Flight Test Center Safety Office will be available to teach children about bike helmet safety.

The fire department will also be in attendance with a fire engine and Sparky the Dog.

Children will also have the opportunity to play soccer, basketball, horse shoes, volleyball, and tug-a-war throughout the event.

Parents must sign a waiver before their children participate in various physical activities. Waivers will be distributed prior to the event and also available April 6.


“One of the reasons we are holding this year’s event at the Community Park is because it gives us the opportunity to offer more activities for families,” said Estacio. “We really expanded this year’s event with more booths and more things to do.”

Free hot dogs and snow cones are also available to all event participants.

“We really want to encourage everyone to come out for Play Day in the Park. It will be a great event with fun for the whole family,” said Degrate-Graves. “The event will provide a fun learning environment for children and parents alike. Hopefully everyone will have a great time and learn something they didn’t know before. Hopefully, parents will become more comfortable talking about child abuse prevention with their children.”

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