Since opening their doors 30 years ago, PEI Kids’ mission has remained the same: to promote and maintain a safe environment for ALL children. PEI Kids works with the child, family, and caregiver to provide prevention, intervention, and education programs relating to personal safety, sexual abuse, and the overall well-being of the child.

PEI Kids began on March 28, 1985 as Prevention Education Inc. when its founders, while working at a rape crisis hotline, discovered there were no child sexual abuse programs in Mercer County.

One example of a PEI Kids prevention program is Child Assault Prevention (CAP), which is the cornerstone of their mission. Through CAP, PEI Kids presents age-appropriate workshops to more than 14,000 children, teachers, and parents from preschool to middle school in more than 70 Mercer County schools on such topics as child assault, personal space, sexual abuse, bullying, and cyber-safety.

PEI Kids’ intervention programs reach children after being physically assaulted, sexually abused, violated, or those being lured towards gang involvement. Each year they serve over 16,000 children and families in the greater Mercer County, from the innocent little girl being molested by a relative to the frightened middle-schooler being lured by gang culture. PEI Kids offers free, professional counseling to child victims of sexual abuse and offers support to vulnerable children, at-risk youth, and children in foster care. They never turn away a child in need of service.

You can support PEI Kids this season with your time, talent, or treasure. You can volunteer your time or services or purchase and donate an item on the children’s Holiday Wish Lists, found online at peikids.org/get-involved/in-kind-contributions. You can also make a donation online at peikids.org

Over the past three decades PEI Kids has grown from their original staff of two to nine full-time and 41 part-time employees, and a 15-member Board of Trustees. Many of their staff members have been with PEI Kids for over a decade. They bring a great depth of knowledge and integrity to PEI Kids programs. This year Roslyn Dashiell joined the staff as the executive director. “It is an honor to join a team of such dedicated professionals and to work for an organization that so deeply values the safety of our children,” says Roz when asked about her new position. “I look forward to leading PEI Kids as the agency works to protect all children in our community from violence and abuse.”

PEI Kids has many volunteers who dedicate hundreds of hours of work for them throughout the year. Volunteers are needed in every aspect of their mission from providing office clerical work to becoming Enough Abuse workshop presenters to staffing fundraising events. For more information on volunteering, contact Jiji Monosiet at smonosiet@peikids.org or call 609/695-3739.

In 2015, PEI Kids celebrates its 30th anniversary. “We look forward to celebrating this milestone by highlighting our service to children in the community and deepening our commitment to community support, outreach and partnership,” says Dashiell.

PEI Kids’ aspiration for the children of Mercer County is “Safe Kids, Sound Futures.”

PEI Kids, 231 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville. 609-695-3739. www.PEIKids.org.

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