West Windsor, NJ – April 29, 2015 – On the evening of April 29th, PEI Kids’ staff and board members gathered with others at Mercer Oaks for the annual Cherish the Children Awards Dinner where PEI Kids Director of Prevention Programs, Melody Powell, received the 2015 Professional Award for her prevention work in the community. The event is produced by the Mercer County Commission on Abused, Neglected and Missing Children which recognizes outstanding service to youth in Mercer County; and the Professional Award is presented to recognize a paid professional who exemplifies a commitment to enhancing the quality of life of Mercer County children and a level of dedication and commitment that is an inspiration to colleagues.
“Melody is a consummate professional with an unparalleled level of expertise in child safety and prevention in Mercer County,” says PEI Kids’ Executive Director Roslyn Dashiell, “her passion and commitment are obvious to all who work with her, as is her mastery of effective child assault prevention programs and strategies.”
Melody has been PEI Kids’ Director of Prevention Programs for 15 years, and during this time she has worked to nurture relationships with key stakeholders and ensure that the children of Mercer County benefit from workshops, training, and prevention messaging offered by PEI Kids’ prevention programs which include Child Assault Prevention (CAP), CAP Bully Prevention program, Kids on the Block, and the Enough Abuse Campaign. “Receiving this award means a lot to me,” says Melody, “I was so pleased to share the honor with my friends and colleagues who have helped make my career rewarding and meaningful.”
The goal of PEI Kids’ prevention efforts is to reduce violence and abuse against children by empowering youth with skills to remain safe, providing a forum for children who want to report abuse/assault, raising community awareness, and providing adults with skills to prevent, recognize, and respond appropriately. Each year, PEI Kids’ school-based prevention workshops reach over 13,000 students, teachers and parents with prevention messaging on subjects which school personnel may be unequipped to address, including child assault and sexual abuse, bullying, and cyber-violence.
Since 2011 PEI Kids has been the lead agency for Greater Mercer Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse which spearheads the Enough Abuse Campaign in Mercer County. Since that time, Melody has helped secure consistent sources of funding for the program, recruited more than 25 members/organizations to the Coalition, and attracted volunteers with impeccable credentials to work as Enough Abuse workshop presenters. She also coordinates the free community workshops which have trained more than 1,500 Mercer County adults in ho to prevent, recognize and respond appropriately to child sexual abuse.
About PEI Kids
For the past 30 years, PEI Kids’ mission has been dedicated to promoting and maintaining a safe environment for all children. PEI Kids’ aspiration for the children of Mercer County, NJ, is “Safe Kids, Sound Futures.” Currently serving approximately 16,000 children and their families each year, the nonprofit organization began in 1985 when, while working at a rape crisis center, its founders discovered there were no local services tailored for children who had been sexually abused. Since then, its services have expanded to include Prevention/ Education and Intervention programs relating to personal safety; physical and sexual abuse; understanding physical and educational differences; school safety and bullying; anger management; gang prevention; and the overall well-being of the child and family. PEI Kids is also the lead agency of the Greater Mercer Coalition to Prevent Child Abuse, and provides transportation and over 1,600 supervised visits each year for children in foster care and their families. To learn more about PEI Kids’ programs and services, and how you can support their efforts, please call 609-695-3739 or visit www.peikids.org. All calls regarding possible abuse are confidential.
About the Cherish the Children Foundation
The Cherish the Children Foundation generates private resources to support the activities of The Mercer County Commission on Abused, Neglected and Missing Children. The Commission recognizes outstanding service to youth in Mercer County and honors Mercer County high school students who have overcome adversity, demonstrate a commitment and dedication to improve the lives of others, and serve as an inspiration.