April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and to mark it, the Parents as Teachers program, Baby Bungalow, the Keeping Kids Safe Partnership and the Brandon Family Support and Resource Center will hold a celebration of keeping children safe in the community. The event will be from 5 to 7 p.m. April 17 at the Brandon Family Support and Resource Center, 1277 Kingsway Road.
Prevent Child Abuse Florida is launching the fifth annual Winds of Change campaign to observe Child Abuse Prevention Month and promote the prevention of child abuse and neglect through improved parenting and community engagement. Winds of Change is a statewide campaign to educate Floridians about the role a community plays in a child's development. For information or registration, call program director Georgina Rivera at (813) 356-1293, ext. 243.
The 125-year-old national children's crisis charity KidsPeace is also marking the month by offering free downloadable information packets called "24 Ways You Can Prevent Child Abuse
. . . Before it Starts."
Throughout the month, parents, teachers and others can go to www.kidspeace.org (click on "resources" and "brochures") and find two dozen tips to make your home safe, give your child trust and build communication, give your child independence and help your child's self-esteem.
Some of the tips include:
• Establishing house rules and being consistent.
• Interviewing your babysitters.
• Never striking your child — or anyone — in anger.
• Teaching your children to say "no" to anyone who asks them to do anything they feel is wrong.
• Listening to your children and being available when they have fears, worries or other concerns.
If you can't beat 'em
Okay, you know you love High School Musical as much as your kids do: The squeaky-clean tale of a boy and girl from opposite sides of the school has made household names out of its stars and spawned sequels, clothing lines and an ice show. Now Nickelodeon is getting into the act. The kids network will begin shooting the TV movie Spectacular! this month, according to The Hollywood Reporter. So, if Spectacular! is half as big as HSM, you should consider this fair warning.
The comedy centers on a preppy high school student (Tammin Sursok) who is one of the last good performers in the school's Spectacular choir after the best people graduated or defected to a rival squad. A too-cool rocker (Nolan Funk) joins the choir to try and win prize money, but finds a romantic connection with the preppy student.
Spectacular! is still awaiting an air date, but Nickelodeon has an option on the stars for possible sequels. Sound familiar?
Pets help Beetles
Here's a television item for the younger set and for parents who loved the Beatles. On The Wonder Pets, the cute duckling, turtle and guinea pig will work to "Save the Beetles" in a new episode to air April 21. And who better to voice the boys from Liverpool, England, than — okay, not the real Beatles. But it will feature Lenie Colacino and Tom Teeley of Broadway's Beatlemania as guest voices for the famous animated bug band the Beetles. The three Wonder Pets must rescue the mop-haired beetles from a trapped yellowish submarine that is tangled in kelp. The show will air at 7 p.m. on Nickelodeon.
Whose mom is best?
Okay, moms, don't read this item. Dads, this is one for you to work on with the kids. To honor moms on their special day (Mother's Day is May 11), kids can enter a contest to tell the world why their mom is so special. Children ages 7 to 13 can participate in the "7 Reasons Why I Love My Mom" contest, which is sponsored by FlowerStore.com and MeetMeAtTheCorner.org, a Web site that sends kids on virtual field trips.
To enter, kids can submit their list, plus a photo with mom, to: 7 Reasons Why I Love My Mom Contest, 1710 First Ave, P.O. Box 283, New York, NY, 10128. Four winners will receive special Mother's Day bouquets for their moms and have their lists made into a special pod cast to be aired on May 11 at MeetMeAtTheCorner.org. The contest deadline is April 30.
For an official entry form and submission guidelines, visit www.7reasonsilovemymom.com.