National Child Abuse Prevention Month recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect and promotes the social and emotional well-being of children and families. During the month of April and throughout the year, communities are encouraged to increase awareness and provide education and support to families through resources and strategies to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Doña Ana Elementary School Counselor Madeline Gonzales coordinated an event which took place on Tuesday, April 30, to support and encourage the awareness of safety and well-being of children. Several community members came on this day to help support and promote this event at the school. Community members included Kohl’s Care employees, Familia Dental, and representatives from the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department and the Las Cruces Police Department.

Each student who participated in this event received a photo ID which included their name, photo and fingerprint.

Gonzales continues to provide numerous lessons on bully prevention, Character Counts, kindness, manners and career awareness, to name a few. Gonzales’ lessons for the month of May include Stranger Danger and Career Awareness. On May 13, the school will host its Fifth Annual Career Exploration Day, which many community members are expected to attend. Then, on May 15, seniors from all surrounding high schools will be invited to participate in the school’s Senior Walk. The Senior Walk will begin promptly at 1:00 p.m.

— Damien Willis, LCPS Director of Communications, 575-527-5811,