Cape Cod, MA – Children’s Cove, The Cape & Islands Child Advocacy Center, is pleased to announce the expansion of its Teen TASK (Taking A Stand for Kids) Force with Nauset Regional High School sophomores joining the program this year to raise awareness about child sexual abuse.
Thanks to $50,000 in funding from Dewitt Davenport Seaside Le Mans – specifically provided in support of the Teen TASK Force program last September – Children’s Cove is now collaborating with Monomoy Regional High School, the Mashpee Middle-High School, and Nauset Regional High School to engage students about child sexual abuse issues, educate them about the services Children’s Cove provides, and empower them to reach out to their peers.
Teen TASK Force members meet throughout the school year, learn about issues facing the Cape & Islands community, and complete an awareness project to educate their school and community.
The Teen TASK Force program debuted in the 2016-2017 school year with a partnership with Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District and continued into the 2017-2018 school year at Monomoy Regional High School, and Mashpee High School in 2018-2019. With supportive funding from the Seaside Le Mans, Children’s Cove is aiming high this year by adding Nauset Regional High School while continuing to work with Teen TASK Force student alumni and new student members for year-round programming and education at Monomoy Regional High School and Mashpee High School.
“We recognized a number of years ago the best way for teens to hear the message about child sexual abuse and sexual assault would be from their peers,” said Children’s Cove Director Stacy Gallagher. “We learned that by giving the right information to students, they could better connect with their peers. The past three years have been an example for all of us to learn and grow from that. At Monomoy Regional High School and Mashpee High School this year we now have students who have already gone through the program guiding incoming sophomore TASK Force members.”
“The overwhelming support of schools, students and the community really shows we are doing something special here,” said Jacob Stapledon, Community Education and Outreach Coordinator for Children’s Cove and Teen TASK Force program coordinator.
Starting in December, students at Nauset Regional High School began meeting monthly with Children’s Cove staff and representatives from local law enforcement, social services organizations, and medical professionals who support the investigation and care of child victims of sexual abuse and assault. They will continue to meet through the end of the school year to learn about the services Children’s Cove provides, resources available to them and their peers, and hear how various agencies in the community are responding to child abuse issues. All TASK Force members will also create a public awareness project to be released in April, which has been designated as National Child Abuse Prevention Month.