SAFE’S Family Day at the Park
An obstacle course available for children to test their skills on park day. (Photo courtesy of Jasz Garrett/KINY)
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) — Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the SAFE Child Advocacy Center hosted a family day at the park.
Rikki DuBois, prevention education specialist at the SAFE Child Advocacy Centre, explained why they wanted to organize the event.
The event took place at the Dimond Park baseball diamonds.
“So the SAFE Child Advocacy Center is really focused on creating opportunities in the community to bring their children and families together to spend time engaging in positive and wholesome activities. We started with a family day at the movies in May. So this is our second event, family day at the park and we are also looking at doing future events. Maybe a family day at the pool,” DuBois said.
DuBois went on to talk about his role at SAFE and their mission in the community.
“The SAFE Child Advocacy Center is a child-focused children’s center where we do assessments to determine if children have been abused or are at risk of abuse. So we have forensic investigators who talk with the children. They’re highly trained in leading the kids -focus, neutral interviews, unguided interviews.And then we also have family advocates who help connect families to community resources.And then my role at the center, I’m a prevention education specialist, so I focus on prevention education in the community and then working with individual families to increase the safety of children who may be at risk of abuse.”
DuBois explained how family days can positively impact families and prevent abuse.
“So one of the things that we know is that there are what are called negative childhood experiences, which are basically potentially traumatic events that happen in a child’s life. and that maybe makes it a bit difficult for them to grow and develop in a normal healthy way.. They may have challenges. And so one of the balances in the face of negative childhood experiences is to promote positive childhood experiences, which bring people together in the community. The purpose of this event was to bring together other youth serving agencies and our community to provide education about their programs, provide a fun and entertaining activity for families, so just bringing people together. The more time a parent and child are likely to spend together, the more they talk together, the more likely a child is to talk about the abuse and the parent can protect them.”
DuBois talked about the kind of community activities that were available during the day at the park.
“We have many great sponsors Nugget Alaskan Outfitters and AEL&P gave us generous financial donations to put on the event. Super Bear IGA donated all the hot dogs and buns for the events, brought the Girl Scouts of Alaska here. We have Twirly Swirly Cotton Candy, we have Sunny Days body art, we can do face painting. We have Auke Bay Preschoolers here, and they’re just doing fun activities. We’ve got a ring toss game, we’ve got a duck pond game, and right now we’ve got a red light game, green light about to start. So lots of field games. People are having fun.
Some of the other games included soccer, kickball, capture the flag, and a bouncy house.
Above: Isabelle Danner (left) and Zoe Bliss (right) sample Twirly Whirly’s cotton candy. Below: Connor Norman lands the two-foot high kick of the Aboriginal Youth Olympics.