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2012 Duck Race: The Child Center

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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Walk into The Child Center in Springfield and one of the first things you’ll notice in the non-profit’s new building is the art. Beautiful watercolor paintings of children — a few feature only a single child, others feature pairs or groups — adorn the walls.

Like those featured in the paintings, the children treated at the center come from all walks of life. They do, however, have one thing in common.

“These kids have challenges and the parents, a lot of times, are stressed,” explained Corey Jackson, the center’s mental health assessment director. “They can have children who strain even the best parent’s ability to cope with what’s going on.”

That stress and strain — untreated — can lead to child abuse, which is why the center offers parenting classes.

“The parenting groups focus heavily on changing a parent’s view of their kid’s negative behaviors, viewing them as skill deficits rather than willful defiance,” said Mark Beach, a child and family therapist.

Echoed Jackson: “They come in really stressed and things are really difficult. By the time they finish the group, they have this whole new set of skills to work with these really, really challenging kids. A lot of times, they feel better about being a parent and better about their kids. The kids feel like they’ve got a parent who’s going to listen and help them through these situations.”

It’s an outcome that wouldn’t be available for some families without money from the Great Rotary Duck Race.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for us to provide some of the prevention services,” Beach said, “and it allows us a little bit more freedom to work with families who maybe don’t have insurance.”

That’s why staff from The Child Center encourage everyone in the community to buy a Duck Race ticket.

“The kid wins and the children who receive these services receive a huge benefit out of it,” Jackson said. “How could you say ‘no’ to something like that?”

Find out how to buy a Duck Race ticket by clicking here.

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