Barbara Navolanic sticks a cut-out paper child into the ground during a small memorial ceremony outside of the Health and Social Services Center on Beck Avenue in 2011. The event was held to mark the Children's Memorial Flag Day for children who were victims of violence. (Daily Republic file 2011)

Solano County

Solano County puts children in spotlight

By From page A4 | April 02, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Solano County during April is putting the focus on its youngest residents.

The Solano County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday declared April as Children’s Month. It has done so each April since 2006.

Solano County understands the connection between the health of the community and how it treats children, Solano  County Superintendent of Schools Jay Speck told the board.

Supervisors went beyond passing a single resolution. They passed five resolutions to try to draw attention to variety of topics and activities concerning children.

So April will be a time to celebrate children, but will also be a time to focus on such tough issues as child abuse and deaths.

The board gave its support to the Child Abuse Prevention Council’s Blue Ribbon Campaign. From July 2012 through June 2013, the county had 4,582 reports of child abuse and neglect, with 508 substantiated cases.

April 22 is to be Children’s Light of Hope Day. It recognizes foster parents, adoptive parents and Court Appointed Special Advocates volunteers who work with foster children.

On a somber note, the same day is to be Children’s Memorial Flag Day. The county each year has a ceremony at its Children’s Garden of Hope in front of the Health and Social Services building to remember children who lost their lives. The time of this year’s ceremony has yet to be announced.

In 2013, Solano County had 13 children ages 17 or younger die, Cherelyn Ellington Hunt of First 5 Solano said on Monday. Six of the deaths were drownings.

“Drowning is one of those things we try to include in our parent education information we send out,” Hunt said. “It happens so fast. All it takes is just a second for that to happen, especially with small children.”

April 30 is to be SpankOut Day, which promotes nonviolent ways of correcting children’s behavior. It is sponsored by the Solano Office of Family Prevention and Solano Child Abuse Prevention Council.

Children’s Month also tries to promote children’s literacy. April 13-19 will be National Library Week and April 30 El Dia de los Ninos/El Dia de los Libros.

Finally, Travis Air Force Base is participating in the nationwide Military Month of the Child. The month pays tribute to military children whose parents leave to serve in Afghanistan, Iraq and other parts of the world.

“When a parent serves in the military, the children serve, too,” Supervisor Skip Thomson said.

Children’s Month is a recognition that the community needs to focus on the health and welfare of its children, Hunt said.

“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Hunt said. “But it’s important to remember that all the way around, children are important.”

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

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