Kristi Limes wraps branches of a tree in front of the Hollenbeck-Bayley Conference Center with blue ribbons as she works on the Project Jericho Blue Ribbon Tree for Child Abuse Awareness Month. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Project Jericho students join child abuse prevention campaign

Project Jericho is fighting against child abuse with heroes and art.

The organization is helping build awareness of Child Abuse Prevention Month through artwork it created at a recent workshop that will be all over Springfield in April. Some of the works were displayed recently at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.

The group’s annual Winter Family Arts Camp in February had the theme “The Hero in You” where participants recognized what a hero is and created their own. Given that theme, several pieces were naturals to be entered in a statewide contest.

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Project Jericho leaders and five members were invited to attend the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund’s April Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month Kickoff event on March 25 where they were recognized and heard Gov. Mike DeWine speak.

The works of Elijah Midgette, Jakima Midgette, Jersey McGath, Juliana McGath and Joshlyn Rice were entered into the Everyday Hero Contest and displayed at the Statehouse.

Rice’s entry entitled “Bee a Hero,” depicting a bumblebee that has the power to help and protect others, earned third place at the competition. As a reward, the 11-year-old Indian Valley Intermediate School fifth grader got several art supplies, and Project Jericho was awarded $500, which will be reinvested in the program.

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“It was a great opportunity. We’re so glad our kids were recognized,” said Kristi Limes, Project Jericho success coordinator.

As longtime participants in the local Child Abuse Prevention Month activities, Project Jericho members created 60 posters tying into the theme and will be distributed to organizations and businesses participating in the Clark County Department of Job and Family Services’ Blue Ribbon Tree Campaign.

The posters can be seen all over the city where the blue ribbon trees are.

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Project Jericho Open Studio artists also created a blue ribbon tree using crochet chains made of recycled fabric and planted pinwheels symbolic of Child Abuse Prevention Month outside Project Jericho’s offices in the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center.

“The kids are always looking for ways for art to have another purpose,” Limes said. “Our participants are about contributing to our community and invested in this and believe in no kids left behind.”

Project Jericho is a program of Clark State Community College supported through funding from the Clark County Department of Job and Family Services, The Ohio Arts Council, The Turner Foundation, Clark County Juvenile Court and private contributions.

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