In recognition of Child Abuse Prevention month, Mayor Michael B. Hancock renamed Bannock St. between Colfax Ave. and 14th Ave. to “Be the One Boulevard” for the month of April. The unveiling marks the city’s commitment to joining organizations around the state for the “Be The One Colorado” campaign, which encourages people in the community to Be the One person who is important in a child’s life.
“In order for us to prevent child abuse and neglect from ever happening in the first place, we need everyone in our community to invest in our children,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “Throughout the month of April, we would like to remind everyone that they can ‘Be the One’ by making kids a priority."
During the unveiling, Mayor Hancock honored five community leaders that have dedicated their lives to helping children. He associated each honoree with the five protective factors that can prevent child abuse. Those protective factors include being a bounce back family; making parent growth a priority; learning more about child growth; having a network of family and friends; and calling a professional.
The first person honored was Brother Jeff, the leader of Brother Jeff’s Cultural Center in Five Points. Hancock honored him for being the one that provides families with the resources and positive reinforcement they need to bounce back when times are hard.
Next, Mayor Hancock thanked Tahana McClinton for her commitment to making parent growth a priority. Through parent growth, McClinton was able to successfully complete a family treatment plan to reunite with her daughter. She now mentors other parents involved with the child welfare system.
“Perhaps one of the greatest ways we can help children is by learning about their growth,” Mayor Hancock said. “Helping children develop emotionally helps them identify their feelings, clearly communicate and problem solve, and prepares them for positive social interaction.”
One of our community members that understands child growth is Ginny Etzel, a lead teacher in the toddler program at Fitzsimons Early Learning Center. Mayor Hancock thanked her for spending time with young children to help them reach their full potential.
Mayor Hancock recognized Howard Haenal for doing his part to be part of a network and family and friends. Since 2011, Haenal has helped a sibling group of four navigate the court process and kept connected by volunteering for Denver Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).
Finally, Mayor Hancock thanked Rebecca Ball, a case worker at Denver Human Services, for dedicating her life to being a professional that families can count on.
“These five individuals are just a few of the amazing people in our community who make children and families a priority,” Mayor Hancock said. “They are shining examples of how people can make a difference in the life of a child.”
During the unveiling, Denver Human Services Manager Penny May and Mayor Hancock encouraged people to nominate people for the “Be the One Colorado” contest. Nominations are being accepted until April 15, 2013 and the public is encouraged to nominate a person that makes a difference in children’s lives.
Additionally, they urged families to attend one of four free Love & Logic parenting seminars, purchase a Dine Out & Do Good card for the Shops at Northfield Stapleton and plant pinwheels gardens, which are symbolic of our community’s commitment to stop child abuse.
For more information, visit www.denvergov.org/BeTheOne.