Child Abuse Education

JENNIFER SHIPLEY, West Plains High School child development instructor, shows some of the curriculum materials supported by Cope24, a St. Louis-based organization that seeks to reduce the occurrence of child abuse and neglect through teen education.

West Plains High School’s child development class recently received a grant supporting new parenting curriculum to help encourage and educate teens about becoming a parent today.

The grant is courtesy of Cope24 of St. Louis, which aims to significantly reduce child abuse and neglect by reaching young adults before they find themselves in a situation, they are not emotionally ready to handle.

The purpose of the grant is to educate youth on the stresses and tremendous responsibility that come along with parenting, said officials, noting that parents are the family leaders and educated parents lead healthier families. Healthier families, officials added, lead to healthier communities, cities, states and nation.

Cope24 emphasizes the need to make parenting and child development education secondary only to the core subjects in the high school system. As the nation continues to face a national health crisis, the breakdown of the family, officials said, communities must seek a proactive response.

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