Local high-school student Brittany Russell is working to educate students across Grayson County about child abuse prevention.
A junior at Grayson County High School, Russell’s project began through her participation in the school’s FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) club. She wanted to compete in the organizations STAR event, which recognizes students for their achievements in leadership projects, and wanted to create her project around an issue that could help kids close to home.
Russell chose to work toward creating awareness of child abuse and quickly went to work on a project which could be displayed at her school and would get students personally involved.
With help from her fellow FCCLA members, Russell was able to have each student at the high school sign their name onto a paper cut-out of his/her hand.
“It was really hard,” Russell said of collecting all of the hands over a two-day period. “We stayed for a long time working that night,” she explained, gesturing to the massive display that she and a handful of other students created on the wall of the school lobby.
All of the hands together were crafted into the shape of one, much larger hand which will help remind students of their commitment to use their hands and words to help, not to harm. It also reminds them that they are not alone in their commitment.
With one project under her belt, Russell plans to visit each of the six local elementary schools as well as Grayson-Breckenridge Head-Start and Grayson County Middle School to let each child make a cut-out of their hand to be combined into a larger display for their school.
The supplies for the hand projects were purchased with a small grant, according to Barbara Allen, with the Family Resource and Youth Service Center.
In addition to her outreach projects at local schools, Russell also invited Grayson County Judge Executive Gary Logsdon to sign a proclamation naming April 2014 Child Abuse Prevention Month throughout the county.
Russell also spoke to a class about the topic and created a virtual “Stop the Violence” poster, she said.
Russell is the daughter of Junior and Christal Russell.