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For Release:  Feb. 1, 2016 - Corey Robertson Office of Communications- 405-271-5601

Communities Build a Blue Ribbon Tree for Kids to Help Prevent Child Abuse

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) along with various community organizations are working together to build a “Blue Ribbon Tree” state.  Blue Ribbon Trees will be blossoming throughout Oklahoma communities in April, which is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Action Committee invites every community to take action for children by participating in their eighth annual “Build a Blue Ribbon Tree for Kids” campaign.

The blue ribbon is the international sign for child abuse prevention and serves as a constant reminder that all of us have a responsibility in helping to protect children. Communities are invited to participate by displaying blue ribbon trees during April. Oklahoma State Department of Human Services Child Care Licensing Supervisor Melissa Dennis said, “My goal is to get 2,016 childcare programs and licensed childcare homes to build blue ribbon trees in Oklahoma for April 2016.”

April 12, 2016 will be the official CAP Day at the Capitol. To have a tree showcased in the blue ribbon tree slideshow, the trees must be completed and registered by April 6.

Tree photos will be highlighted in the Child Abuse Prevention Month “official” scrapbook, on the OSDH Family Support and Prevention Service web page, and on various social media sites.  A "Tree Registry" form is provided for people and organizations to register their trees with the OSDH Office of Child Abuse Prevention. The registration form and submission instructions are available to print from the OSDH website at: http://go.usa.gov/c5Jad

To “Build a Blue Ribbon Tree,” select any materials you choose. If using a living tree, choose a highly visible location and secure needed permission. Decorate the tree with blue ribbons to represent any of the following:

  • The number of new babies born in your community;
  • The number of confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect in your county;
  • Something significant to your agency, program or community
  • Or use the ribbons to show your community support for children in general

For more information contact Sherie Trice, OSDH Community Based Child Abuse Prevention Grant Coordinator, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Family Support and Prevention Service, 1000 NE 10th Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73117-1299, at 405-271-7611, or e-mail sheriet@health.ok.gov.

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