Planting pinwheels to prevent child abuse

The McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center is planting pinwheels to remind neighbors about the ways we can prevent child abuse.

Last year, there were 6800 reports of child abuse and neglect in Central New York.

Of those, more than 350 cases were sexual abuse.

The McMahon Ryan Center says instances of child abuse are spread across all economic incomes, age groups, and races.

"There's no one person that's doing it," says Linda Clearly, Executive Director of the McMahon/Ryan Advocacy Center. "With all of the financial stress people have had over the last few years; joblessness and homelessness, it really just adds to the picture."

The Center hopes to become a name and a resource people recognize, not just when it comes to tragedies, but when it comes to preventing child abuse.

It hopes the pinwheel gardens, like the one created this morning surrounding Columbus Circle, will remind the community to do what it can to keep our children safe.

Cleary says services in the community like what's offered at McMahon/Ryan Center, are one of the best ways to spread the word about prevention.

In some cases, that means offering home visitation programs, and getting information to schools.

Still, it's just as important that adults hear the message, and understand the impact they can have as well.

"People don't necessarily understand what prevention means," Cleary says. "Sometimes, prevention is as simple as getting to know your neighbors."

"Prevention is really about knowing what's going on in your neighborhood, knowing what your neighbors are doing, and getting to know them," says Cleary, who replaced newly elected Onondaga Family Court Judge Julie Cecile as the center's Executive Director.

This month, you can help plant pinwheels in the community to help McMahon/Ryan spread the word.

-Saturday, April 6th: 10 a.m. Mohawk Global Logistics at 123 Air Cargo Road (off Eileen Collins Blvd) Hancock Airport

-Monday, April 6th: 4 p.m. Lipe Art Park West Fayette Street, Syracuse

-Sunday, April 14th: 12 p.m. Syracuse University, 303 University Place, Syracuse

-Tuesday, April 16th: 10:30 a.m. , Onondaga Community College on the Main Quad between Mawhinney and Ferrante

-Thursday, April 18th: 3:30 p.m. The Chi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta 306 Walnut Place, Syracuse

-Sunday, April 21st: 1 p.m. Great Northern Mall 4155 State Route 31, Clay