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Program Helps Children Feel Safe

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THREE FORKS - After hearing about the girls who were abducted in Ohio, many people are thinking "how can I make sure my child is safe when I'm not around?"
 
The Alphabet Academy in three forks is in the process of implementing the Helping Hands program in their community.

The program is a way for kids to feel safe if they are ever in a dangerous situation and need help. People around town will have a paw print photo in their window, indicating that their home is a safe place for a child to enter if they are scared.

"We would like to put one of these in a home on each side of each block so you would have four in place on each block," said Janie Trickled, Alphabet Academy Director.

One of the owners of Alphabet Academy, Janie Strickland said it's just another place for children to go if they are walking without an adult.

"We are trying to think of more avenues for children to feel safe," said Strickland. "There are so many young children especially in the summer, they're told for day care, but they're really not old enough yet to be totally on their own."

Kristen Schillinger is a mother of a 3-year-old boy. She said it's comforting knowing a program is out there for her son if she is not around.

"It's feels good to know there is a program to help children after all of scary things are happening across the country," said Kristen Schillinger, mother.

The day care center has already had their initial meeting with city, but still needs to meet with the fire department and law enforcement. School officials said they are on board with the program.

"I think it's great because when kids are on their way to school or on their way home we don't want them to be in any danger," said Jerry Breen, Three Forks Schools Superintendent. "We want them to get home safe."

The schools will tell the kids about the program by having their counselors will go around to the classes and talk to the kids about places they can go to be safe

"I think some of the teachers will take their classes out and show them where the houses are because we are such a small community," said Breen.

Strickland said they are planning on meeting with law enforcement in the next month to figure out what necessary steps will be needed to make sure the people with the paws in their doors are good people.

"We're hoping law enforcement and city council can really help us on it," said Strickland. "It will take continually monitoring from ourselves as volunteers and by the law enforcement."

Strickland hopes to implement the program this upcoming fall.

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