Nash Community College Advanced Manufacturing Build Blue Pinwheel for Child Abuse Prevention Awareness
Nash Community College recently donated a Blue Pinwheel to support Child Abuse Prevention Awareness at an event held by Coopers Elementary School in Elm City on Nov. 7 during an event in honor of Christal Lane (8-year-old), who passed away in February.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least one in seven children have experienced child abuse or neglect in the past year in the United States. In 2020, 1,750 children died of abuse and neglect in the United States.
NCC’s Advanced Manufacturing department and students (Advanced Manufacturing Club & SkillsUSA) created the pinwheel to raise awareness for children who die every year at the hands of child abuse.
“I’m not sure this was anything that needed to be discussed. My wife, Shanna (Brannan), a teacher assistant at Coopers Elementary, shared the idea with me, and I jumped on the opportunity,” said Jason Brannan, instructor of computer-integrated machining at NCC. “A fellow instructor, Jay Manning, and I discussed what all we needed and how it needed to be created, and off we went.”
The pinwheel took one day to complete with materials donated by Edwards, Inc., and Moore’s Bicycle Shop in Rocky Mount.
It was a beautiful afternoon as Coopers Elementary and the school’s Principal, Michelle Griffin, dedicated a moment of remembrance for Lane.
“Nine months ago, we lost a very precious child, and many are still struggling with this,” said Griffin. “As a part of our healing process, finding things to honor her memory has worked well for us. We have planted a tree, dedicated sunshine benches and here today, the opportunity to utilize the national symbol (a blue pinwheel) for child abuse prevention to memorialize her in front of this school for years to come.”
NCC President Dr. Lew K. Hunnicutt was in attendance to show his support for the cause and the school’s gesture.
“It is so important that we continue to raise awareness for something like child abuse that happens too often,” said Dr. Hunnicutt. “We (NCC) are here for the community, and we support the efforts of all our partners, especially NCPS, and what better way than to utilize our fantastic students to donate something of importance to the school that is sure to have a lasting impact.”
The ceremony ended with an emotional tribute from her teacher and a prayer from Griffin.
“Christal loved this place, her classes and her classmates,” said Griffin. “I hope that when you all are having a bad day, you come this way to look at this plaque and pinwheel and be comforted by the idea that she brought joy to everyone and was a light in her life.”