The Kids Count Players, a volunteer puppet troupe that teaches elementary school children about personal boundaries and how to stay safe from abuse, will celebrate a milestone as they surpass 75,000 children educated on Dec. 9 at Frisco ISD’s Nichols Elementary School.
PLANO, NOV. 16, 2015 — The Kids Count Players, a volunteer puppet troupe that teaches elementary school children about personal boundaries and how to stay safe from abuse, will celebrate a milestone as they surpass 75,000 children educated on Dec. 9 at Frisco ISD’s Nichols Elementary School.
The Kids Count Players is a child abuse prevention program of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County (CACCC) founded by Frisco resident Jane Donovan and members of the Children’s Advocacy Center staff. Donovan founded the Kids Count Players while previously working at the Children’s Advocacy Center and has continued to follow her passion for preventing child abuse as a board member at the Children’s Advocacy Center and volunteer director of the Kids Count Players.
“To have been involved with Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County since 1994, feels like an honor, and to have shared the stage as one of The Kids Count Players with others committed to keeping children safe, feels like a gift,” Donovan said. “To have stood before more than 75,000 children to tell them they are special, that they deserve to feel safe and loved, feels like an opportunity – an opportunity to have a real and direct impact on the fight against child abuse.”
Kids Count Players performances entertain children while also imparting a message that they are special – that they “count.” In a child-friendly, non-threatening way, the performance conveys critically important information about abuse and about good touches and private touches. Children also learn that their bodies belong to them and that they should tell a trusted adult if anyone ever touches them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable or scared. The program includes an original script written by Donovan and two original songs written and recorded by Tania Cordobes, full-time music therapist at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County.
“The Kids Count Players have performed for many years across our district,” said Brenda Berry, Frisco ISD Director of Guidance and Counseling. “We have 39 elementary schools in Frisco ISD and most of them take advantage of the wonderful anti-victimization program. Our students learn valuable lessons on keeping themselves safe with a developmentally appropriate program that is fun and entertaining for our students. We are extremely appreciative of the work they provide our community in protecting our children.”
Because of demand for the Kids Count Players performances, the program has grown into a volunteer-driven effort that includes 20 volunteers, many of whom are former educators and school counselors. Since the inception of the Kids Count Players program in 2007, the group has performed for kindergarten through second-graders at dozens of elementary schools in Plano, Frisco, Allen, Farmersville, Lovejoy and Prosper.
“The Kids Count Players volunteers are dedicated to making sure that children are empowered with information that helps to keep them safe or lets them know that something isn’t right and that it’s okay to tell an adult if they’ve been hurt,” CACCC CEO Lynne McLean said. “Over the years, tens of thousands of children have heard an important message about how special they are, and that would not have been possible without these dedicated volunteers.”
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization that provides safety, healing and justice to children victimized by abuse or neglect in Collin County. The Center works collaboratively with law enforcement and Child Protective Services to help children and their non-offending family members heal from the trauma of abuse. Since 1992, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County has offered free services to more than 50,000 abused and neglected children. To learn more, visit caccollincounty.org or call 972-633-6600.
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