In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month we asked Cesar E. Watts, director of the Family Center at CentroNía in Washington, D.C. to reflect on the importance of child safety in the Hispanic community.
The road from immigration to feeling comfortable in a foreign environment is a long and bumpy one. Responsible community members who have traversed this road before are obliged to share learned experiences and information with newcomers to make their transition to society in the United States a smooth and safe one for parents and children.
Each May CentroNía, a nationally recognized, multicultural learning community in Washington, D.C., cohosts a Take 25 Campaign event with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
We take this opportunity to educate the students at CentroNía from pre-K through 5th grade about dealing with strangers and staying safe when on their own and in unfamiliar places. We also take time to teach students about the environment in the District and all U.S. cities, as many of them come from immigrant families.
CentroNía is run by community leaders and professionals who are also often immigrants themselves. Families and especially children are our utmost priorities here at CentroNía. It is for these reasons our staff, alongside NCMEC, feels personally responsible for educating children and parents in our community as well as the teachers who educate them in our schools.
As we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 let us reflect on the struggles our people go through each year but also rejoice over the bond we share and community we are all a part of.
Find safety resources for use in your community at www.take25.org.