Jane Ann Harper
Robyn Ketchum and Sharon Rudder, staff at the Wade Knox Children’s Advocacy Center receive “comfort bags” from members of the Carlisle Progressive Club Shirley Hardke Stanley, Betty Schafer and Lucy Nannie.
The Carlisle Progressive Club met at the Methodist Church parking lot Nov. 14, bringing about 300 food items to be distributed by their local churches.
The group then carpooled to the Wade Knox Children’s Advocacy Center in Lonoke. Upon arrival they were greeted by Robyn Ketchum, Victim Advocate, and Sharon Rudder, Advocate of Education for the center. The club delivered 12 welcome bags to be given to children who come through the center. The bags, filled with items of comfort a child can call his/her own, will aid the center in providing a child-friendly environment for the children who often arrive with nothing.
The club business meeting was conducted on site with president Jane Ann Harper presiding. Sue Young reported that library books continue to be donated and gave next month’s book assignments. Margaret Ann Zimmerman reported that the school dictionaries have been delivered.
After the business meeting, Rudder and Ketchum presented the program explaining that the advocacy center provides a multi-disciplinary team approach to serving children who have alleged physical or sexual abuse or have been a witness to a violent crime. The center serves children from the ages of 3 to 18. The center is dedicated to the child first in all services offered. Of the 14 CAC’s in Arkansas, the Wade Knox Center is one of only four accredited in the state, and the only center in the state with preventative education programs. Different education programs offered by the center were discussed with emphasis on the cyberbullying program.
The club learned that the center has done 1,000 interviews since it opened Aug. 18, 2005. The new medical room, just opened Oct. 1, 2012, has already conducted 18 exams. Members gained an understanding of the work the center does to ensure that these child victims are given a voice and how the center’s school based prevention programs are being offered to keep our county’s children safe.
After the program, the club members took a self tour of the facility and were treated to desserts and coffee.
The December meeting, a Christmas coffee and brunch, will begin at 10 a.m. at the home of Lois Ann Bryant. This will be the club’s ninth annual ornament exchange so don’t forget to bring your ornament and “Sweats for Vets“.