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Family Guidance event focuses on providing info

Lawrence County has plenty of resources for children and families, but not everyone knows about them.

That’s why the Family Guidance program of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action wanted to offer the community a way to get better acquainted with all of them.

“A lot of services have been here years and years and still people don’t know about them,” Ruth Langer, director of Family Guidance, said.

To that end, and to mark Child Abuse Awareness Month, the agency put on Building Blue Ribbon Families, an informational fair Friday at Ohio University Southern.

The idea was to provide families with information about resources and services to reduce their stress and possibly reduce the risk of child abuse.

“We feel like if families can have less stress, children are less likely to be abused,” Langer said.

Several agencies such as the Lawrence County Health Department, the Ironton Fire Department, Tri-State Industries, the Ohio State University Extension Office and Appalachian Family & Children First Council were among those that attended.

“I’m really thrilled with the participation from the community,” Langer said.

Debbie Carpenter, a program assistant with the expanded food and nutrition education program of The Ohio State University Extension Office, was there offering information about nutrition and exercising.

Learning good habits in nutrition and exercise is very important for children.

“It’s very important,” Carpenter, who also teaches a class on the subject, said. “What we learn as children is setting the stage for what we do all our lives.”

Rose Friend, a nutrition assistant was among the representatives for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). WIC is a program that provides nutritious foods for women and children with low incomes.

“It’s a very good program,” Friend said.

Besides the several agencies that were there, the Lawrence County SWAT/PRIDE team was also there. SWAT stands for Student Wellness Awareness Team and PRIDE stands for Prevention Resources and Information for Drug Education.

The group, which is made up of high school students who travel to schools for drug prevention education, is a partner to the Family Guidance Center.

The team did skits and songs like the ones they do in schools.

“It entertains the kids while still informing them while still informing them about how bad drugs are,” Hannah Ferguson, a SWAT/PRIDE team member, said.