Parents invited to preview sexual abuse prevention materials

Tuesday, October 7, 2008 | 8:15 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Elementary school parents who want insight into what their children are watching can see for themselves on Oct. 9 and 14.

On these nights, parents can see the sexual abuse prevention books and videos that will be used in classrooms this school year. The children will not view the materials in class until after parents have had a chance to observe them. Before the materials are shown to the students in class, the counselors will give pre-lessons, where they talk about feelings and ask students what makes them feel comfortable and uncomfortable.

Parents can view the materials, which vary for different grades, on either of the two dates offered. Counselors teach kindergarten students with books, and the remaining grades are shown videos.  The students will learn strategies that deal with abuse as well as other uncomfortable situations, said Carolyn Roof, coordinator of elementary guidance at Columbia Public Schools.

The viewings, which are hosted by Columbia elementary school counselors, are divided into upper- and lower-grade sessions. Books and videos for kindergarten, first and second grade will be available at 6:30 p.m., and videos for third, fourth and fifth grades will be shown at 7:15 p.m. The first viewing will be held Thursday, Oct. 9 at Mill Creek Elementary School, 2200 Nifong Blvd. The second viewing will be held Oct. 14 at Parkade Elementary School, 111 Parkade Blvd.

CPS encourages parents of all students at Columbia's public elementary schools to attend.

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