As we reflect on 2015 and all that we worked hard to accomplish in the fight to protect childhood – from completing our sixth annual 1,500-mile Walk in My Shoes journey across the state, to the expansion of our abuse prevention and personal safety curriculum, to successful legislative advocacy, unprecedented public awareness on the cover of Newsweek magazine, and everything in between – I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your participation, encouragement and support of the Lauren’s Kids Foundation.
You amplify our impact, and allow us to continue to prevent abuse, empower survivors and shatter stigma in Florida, and beyond. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Please take a moment to catch up on our efforts over the past year, and our plans and goals for 2016.
As we come to the close of yet another meaningful year, please consider making a contribution to the Lauren’s Kids Foundation today, your gift will help us continue the life-changing and life-saving work we do each day on behalf of children and families everywhere.
Happy New Year!
A LOOK BACK…
This year, Lauren’s Kids proudly launched grades 1-3 of our Safer, Smarter Kids curriculum program – the country’s first-of-its-kind, evidence-based curriculum that has been shown to promote children’s knowledge of critical personal safety information by 77 percent! – AND hosted our first annual professional development conference for educators. One teacher said, “I would like to thank each and every person involved in production and presentation of the Safer, Smarter Kids Teachers’ Institute last week. I can easily add with confidence that it was the best time I spent learning in my teaching career. I left the Institute better than when I got there.” – success!
Lauren Book was also proud to release Lauren’s Kingdom, her first book for children that contains an important message about using your voice: “If you’re choking back tears and your heart’s filled with fears…You know very well, it’s OK to tell.”
A LOOK FORWARD…
In 2016, Lauren’s Kids will expand our education universe even further, releasing the full scope of our Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 curriculum – Safer, Smarter Kids (early childhood, elementary & special-needs) & Safer, Smarter Teens (middle & high) at our second annual Safer, Smarter Schools Conference. We are currently accepting applications from public school educators from across the state of Florida to attend our FREE Safer, Smarter School Conference.
A LOOK BACK…
In 2015, Lauren’s Kids continued our work to raise awareness and begin important conversations in communities across Florida, the country and the world. Lauren once again laced up her sneakers and logged another 1,500 miles walking across Florida for her annual Walk in My Shoes journey…and this year, she took the trek to NYC for the Yankees-sponsored, Lauren’s Kids-run Kids Care Walk – an offshoot of the Walk in My Shoes that raised awareness about child protection in the Bronx. Other outside-of-Florida efforts included continued partnership with UNICEF in the Caribbean basin and speaking engagements at Facebook HQ and the International Institute on Violence Abuse and Trauma. Lauren’s Kids also released studies detailing the fiscal impact of child sexual abuse and misconceptions surrounding it, and we were proud to be featured as the cover story for Newsweek magazine’s July 2015 issue in North and Latin America… click here to read the article, entitled “The Predator Next Door.”
A LOOK FORWARD…
Ninety-five percent of child sexual abuse IS preventable through education and awareness, and as such, Lauren’s Kids will continue our efforts in this arena in 1016 and beyond. Here are a few meaningful and exciting things to be on the lookout for in the New Year:
January 2016: Launch of Lauren’s Kids Guide to Hope & Healing – a free online and in-print resource for families dealing with a child’s disclosure of sexual abuse, designed to help guide them on the path of healing and the sometimes difficult journey from victim to survivor and thriver.
February 2016: Oxford TED Talk – Lauren will be delivering a TED Talk at Oxford University on Feb 28, 2016…stay tuned for more information, and for video from the TED Talk!
March 2016 : Walk in My Shoes 2016 – Lauren’s annual cross-state journey is coming to a city near you…
click here to view the schedule and save the date!
A LOOK BACK…
Each year, Lauren’s Kids works with true champions and heroes in the Florida Legislature to advocate for the passage of laws that protect children and empower survivors, making Florida a safer place to live and grow. This year, we worked with legislators to right a wrong. A child predator was allowed to walk free when a judge ruled an audio recording made by his victim was not admissible as evidence in court, due to Florida law. Now, thanks to the work of Lauren’s Kids, the Florida Legislature and Governor Rick Scott, children age 18 and younger may now secretly record their abusers using a hidden device and subsequently convict those offenders using the recording(s) as evidence in court. Click here to learn more.
A LOOK FORWARD…
In 2016, Lauren’s Kids will be championing serveral bills (HB 167, HB 179, SB 368, SB 636) related to the collection of evidence in sexual assault investigations to ensure timely and streamlined analysis of forensic evidence, and ‘clearing the backlog’ of rape kits in the State of Florida.
STAY TUNED FOR ADDITIONAL UPDATES AS LEGISLATIVE SESSION KICKS OFF IN JANUARY 2016.