The Churchill County Board of Commissioners approved a contract on Wednesday to have a New York Times bestselling author to speak at the high school to support National Child Abuse and Prevention Month in April.
David Pelzer, author of “A Child Called ‘It’” will provide a lecture 9:30 a.m. at Churchill County High School on April 13. The presentation encourages students to practice self-empowerment and decision-making. A film based on the novel is currently in the making.
The event is part of Pinwheels for Prevention week starting April 6, where the community plants a pinwheel garden to raise awareness.
Commissioners approved the contract totaling $20,000 to host the author.
“There’s a partnership between the schools, law enforcement, and local business for that week,” said Social Services Director and Public Guardian Shannon Ernst. “We want share with the community how to identify abuse.”
Pelzer also will assist the Volunteer Fire Department at 11:30 a.m. with a barbecue lunch for foster youth and their families on the same day. The lunch will focus on allowing the youth to meet someone who has experienced the same encounters and a meet-and-greet book signing.
A presentation for all school and community agency staff is scheduled at 3 p.m. to obtain knowledge on identifying abuse, assisting abused youth, and empowering youth. The day will wrap up at 5:30 p.m. with a community presentation to increase awareness.
Specifically, the presentations are called The Real Heroes also produced by Pelzer; a tribute to those who dedicated efforts to make a difference for a child, while at the same time educating the general public.
Ernst said it’s possible to get more than 500 people to attend the events and is working with the Churchill County Library to provide books to the public related to child abuse topics.