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Tour the Madras MountainStar Relief Nursery from 11:15 a.m., to 12:30 p.m., on April 11.

The KIDS Center and MountainStar Family Relief Nursery kicked off the Blue Ribbon Campaign on April 1, which coincides with April's National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The Blue Ribbon Campaign began in 1989, as one woman's tribute to her grandson, when she tied a blue ribbon on her car antenna to symbolize his bruises, after he died at the hands of his mother's abusive partner.

This campaign was brought to Central Oregon in 1997, to raise awareness of the epidemic of child abuse in the community.

In addition to awareness, the Blue Ribbon Campaign also focuses on educating individuals and groups on how to better protect children in their lives, as well as the community from child abuse.

Almost 50,000 blue ribbons, along with educational materials and posters, will be distributed throughout the tri-county area in April.  People are encouraged to wear a blue ribbon to show support for the awareness and prevention of child abuse.

As part of the 2018 Blue Ribbon Campaign, organizers are asking adults to "Speak Up and Save a Child." It is a call for the adult community to take an active role in protecting the children of Central Oregon. By taking a child abuse prevention training, adults raise awareness of child abuse and create a safer environment for all children.

KIDS Center and MountainStar are awarding five community partners as Prevention Partners of the Year for their outstanding commitment to preventing child abuse in Central Oregon.

Each has dedicated valuable resources and time to learn how to better protect children, as well as provide concrete support for families in crisis.

The following organizations were selected:  Columbia Bank of Madras, Asamblea Apostólica de Madras, Bend-La Pine School District, High Desert ESD Early Intervention, NeighborImpact, and Head Start in Crook County.

Several special events are scheduled for the month of April:

Hands Can Change the World, April 10, 12 p.m., at Madras City Hall. Help encircle city hall with a blue ribbon.

Madras Coffee Cuppers, April 20, Friday, 8 a.m., 122 NE 10th St., Madras. Meet the MountainStar Madras team and explore its therapeutic classrooms.

Let's Talk About It, May 16, Wednesday, (Spanish) 5-7 p.m., at the Jefferson County Health Department. Adults learn how to start the conversation about sexual abuse, body safety and how to appropriately respond to sexual behaviors in children.

Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children training. Adults receive tools for recognizing the signs of sexual abuse and responding to suspicions. They also learn simple ways to minimize opportunities for abuse in organizations and in our community. More than 10,000 adults have been trained in Central Oregon over the last 11 years. Sign up at kidscenter.org.

The Madras training will be held at Jefferson County Health Department, April 17, 4-7 p.m., Tuesday (Spanish), and April 26, 5-8 p.m., Thursday (English).

MountainStar Relief Nursery tours, in Madras, April 11, Wednesday, 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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