Abuse Awareness Program Comes To Odessa Schools

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Hand puppets were enough to peak intrest in some first graders at Blanton Elementary on Monday about something that's never easy to discuss with kids.

"The 'W.H.O' program is a preventative program. Start looking at the future because kids can stop the abuse. The program is grade level and they learn how to bring the topic of abuse up," Tara Holt with the Odessa Crisis Center, said.

What was discussed was not only how to bring it up, but also how to cope.

"Bad and good touches go on no matter what the child's age is. It gives them information on how to react if ever put in that situation," Blanton Elementary Teacher, Karen Hargove, said.

Teachers say the 'W.H.O' program is the perfect way to approach the subject with young kids.

"Try to bring this down to their level where they can understand. Don't be shy to talk about it. They need to know that it's okay to talk about these things," Holt said.

Teachers also stress even if awareness programs are given at schools, parent involvement is just as important.

"Make sure they're listening. They could be telling you something that just gets brushed aside; just let us know and we'll try our best to address it," Hargrove said.

The Odessa Crisis Center is scheduled to bring the W.H.O. program to eleven other area schools this fall.