Over the past three months, parents in Next Door’s Parent Ambassador program have collected 1,068 pairs of old children’s shoes. These shoes represent the number of child abuse and neglect cases in one year in Milwaukee County. As part of Child Abuse Awareness Month, the shoes will be hung in the Rotunda at City Hall. On April 16, between 11 am and 2 pm, there will be a ceremony in City Hall featuring survivors of child abuse telling their stories. The event will recount the realities of child abuse in Milwaukee, as well as highlight children’s artwork and personal stories.
“Our parents are committed to making sure people know the impact of abuse and neglect on our community. Creating this display brings the point home in a powerful way. Every shoe really does tell a story,” commented Carol Keintz, Executive Director.
The shoe project is part of a new initiative for parents at Next Door. The Parent Ambassadors program trains parents of the Next Door children to be advocates for their children and their community. This is just one of many support services for the “whole child” at Next Door. Next Door uses a research-based curriculum to ensure that every child we serve is prepared to be successful in school. Next Door also provides critical support for families, and partners with community leaders to improve our Metcalfe Park neighborhood.