Granby Elementary School recently hosted a Darkness to Light training program facilitated by Snow Mountain Ranch – YMCA of the Rockies’ program director, Mary Ann Degginger, on March 5. This is the first training program of its kind at the school. Seven parents and three educators attended.
Darkness to Light (D2L) is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to end child sexual abuse. Founded in 2000, Darkness to Light provides individuals and communities with the tools to teach adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.
Dane Ruttenberg, the school counselor at Granby Elementary, attended the two hour event and believes the training program was helpful to everyone present.
“The Darkness to Light training program provided great factual information and research for anyone who works with kids,” Ruttenberg said. “It brought certain issues to light that helped you think of things you may not have before, such as when to communicate with your kids and what conversations you need to be having with them to protect them.”
According to Darkness to Light, 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before they turn 18, totaling to around 400,000 children each year. One of the many ways Darkness to Light seeks to prevent this child abuse from happening is through a program called “5 Steps to Protecting Our Children.” The five steps state that people should strive to learn the facts, minimize the opportunities for abuse, talk about it, recognize the signs, and react responsibly.
Ruttenberg believes that holding this training event will have a positive effect on the Granby community and recommends any parent or person that works with children to attend a training program.
“These programs will help keep kids safer and aid parents in making the best decisions for their kids,” Ruttenberg said. “It will also encourage parents to have those difficult conversations with their children at an appropriate age.”
Granby Elementary School is looking forward to potentially hosting another Darkness to Light training program in the future.
Last year. YMCA of the Rockies invested to send four staff members to a national training to become Darkness to Light facilitators. At Snow Mountain Ranch, both Mary Ann Degginger and Giovanni Forrest are certified to provide the Darkness to Light training to groups of interested community members in Grandy County.
The YMCA takes child protection very seriously and several YMCA’s across the nation have teamed up with Darkness to Light to continue the positive change in keeping children safe.
Darkness to Light offers many different child-protective programs and a help line for people searching for more information and support services. To learn more, visit the Darkness to Light website at www.d2l.org, email the program at Stewards@D2L.org, or call the national helpline at 866.FOR.LIGHT
To inquire about having a Darkness to Light facilitator come to speak for a group in the community, please call Snow Mountain Ranch at 970-887-2152 and ask to speak with Mary Ann Degginger or email firstname.lastname@example.org.