This Sunday is National Missing Children’s Day, and local law enforcement joined with Tallahassee's Mayor as well as an elementary school to encourage parents to take part in a child safety campaign.
In the cafeteria of Astoria Park Elementary School, a group of Preschoolers is about to graduate, and they’re the school’s first Pre-K graduating class of 2014.
“And, we love our boys and girls. And, when they come here, they become ours. And, so I am so glad that this 'Take 25' National Campaign here at Astoria Park. We’re going to take 25 minutes every day. We always talk about safety,” said Principal Marsha Sanders, Wednesday.
Sanders is talking about a National Child Safety campaign called “Take 25,” which encourages families, educators, and law enforcement to talk to kids about safety—in the home, the outdoors, or online—all for about 25 minutes. It was also created in 2007 by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in commemoration of National Missing Children’s Day, which is May 25th.
Appearing as a guest speaker, Mayor John Marks gave a written proclamation to Principal Sanders, declaring Sunday as National Missing Children’s Day in Tallahassee.
“…whereas according to the most recent comprehensive national study for the number of missing children, an estimated 800,000 that as children younger than 18 were reported missing and whereas approximately 58,000 of these children were victims of non-family abductions and more than 200,000 were victims of family abductions,” said Marks.
Tallahassee’s new Police Chief Michael DeLeo also made an appearance, speaking to the new graduating class.
"So, first of all, Congratulations to all of you. This is your big day! Right? You got to finish Pre-K? Are ya'll ready for Kindergarten," asked DeLeo.
"Yes," responded most of the kids.
DeLeo says he wasn’t just speaking as head of the Police department, he was also there as a parent promoting kid safety.
“My wife and I have two boys who are little older than you guys. But, part of growing up and part of being a parent, part of being teachers and responsible community members is helping keep our children safe, so that they understand what the real world is like, but also how to react, what to do, what to say, in different situations,” said DeLeo.
And, following the unveil of the campaign and the graduation, Principal Sanders says she hopes parents will make sure to take part in the child safety effort.
“Take 25 minutes and it’s period to talk about safety: stranger danger, bicycle safety, walking, when you come up to meet somebody, running away if you feel like you’re in danger,” said Sanders.
For more information, visit Take25.org.
For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.