OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KNWA/KFTA) – The Oklahoma State Department of Health invites the public to create “Blue Ribbon Trees” in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month, as 14,000 children of the state have been abused and neglected in 2021.
In an effort to raise awareness, the OSDH says organizations and individuals are encouraged to decorate trees with blue ribbons in April, as the month aims to recognize the importance for families and communities to work together to strengthen families to prevent child abuse and neglect.
“April is a time to celebrate the important role communities play in protecting children,” said Sherie Trice, Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) Grants Coordinator for the OSDH. “Everyone’s participation is essential. Focusing on ways to support and strengthen families, in every interaction, is the best thing our community can do to prevent child abuse and promote optimal child development.
According to a press release, organizers of the 14th annual “Build a Blue Ribbon Tree for Kids” campaign have set a goal of 2,022 registered Blue Ribbon Trees statewide this year. All blue-colored materials can be used to create the Blue Ribbon Trees. Blue flagging tape has been the decorative material of choice for many attendees in previous years for its durability, visibility and low cost, according to the release.
Registration forms are available for download here until April 30.
The OSDH added that photos of the registered Blue Ribbon Trees posted on social media with the hashtag #GoBlueOK will be featured on the OSHR’s social media platforms and on the Support and Prevention Service website at family, and will be featured throughout the year in a community partnership video slideshow presented at events hosted by the Office of Child Abuse Prevention.