On January 5, 2023 in collaboration with Saint Joseph’s Hospital London Nurturing Children Program, Lynn Camp Elementary School and Knox County Public Schools the Knox County Sheriff Department introduced students to another important aspect of safety and well-being by bringing Eddie Eagle to Knox County for the first time.
The Eddie Eagle GunSafe program is a gun accident prevention program that seeks to help parents, law enforcement, community groups and education navigate a topic paramount to our children’s safety (via NRA/eddieeagle.nra.org).
The Eddie Eagle program is developed to educate Pre-K and elementary age children on what to do if they encounter a gun. Eddie Eagle was brought to Knox County through collective work from the hospital , the school system, Lynn Camp administration and Knox County Sheriff Mike Smith.
Eddie Eagle provided two programs covering all grade levels at Lynn Camp Elementary school, covering the importance of understanding what children should do if they encounter a firearm, allowing children an interactive educational environment where they were taught valuable information and afforded the opportunity to seek answers to any gun safety questions they may have had.
Sheriff Smith has been enthusiastic to be a part of offering this opportunity and is excited to offer another option in educating and helping to keep Knox County children and families safe.
The Nurturing Children Program is a grant funded program made possible by CHI Mission and Ministry fund. Mollie Harris, CSW is the Violence Prevention Manager for the Nurturing Children Program. On staff is Jara Burkhart, Violence Prevention Coordinator.
The goal of the program is to reduce child abuse and neglect as well as child fatalities. Mollie’s efforts as the manager lead to this encouraging opportunity between the entities.
Mrs. Harris stated “This project was piloted at Lynn Camp Elementary School, within the Knox County School District and couldn’t be possible without the support and work of the Knox County Sheriff’s Department.”
Mrs. Harris continued that she “…..is overjoyed with the opportunity to increase community partnerships and is excited to provide new outreach to increase safety in our communities.”
The key contact for the school system was Mrs. Emily Haneline, Principal at Lynn Camp Elementary.
Mrs. Haneline had the following to say about the opportunity. “I am so honored that our school was chosen as the pilot for this wonderful opportunity. The safety of our students is always our number one priority and this collaboration with CHI Saint Joseph Health and the Knox County Sheriff’s Department allows us to extend beyond just our school and provide our students and families with critical knowledge to keep our students safe across all settings.
Thank you so much to Mollie Harris for her vision, without it none of this would have been possible. I’m excited to see the impact that this program will have for not only our students, but students throughout Knox County.”
Knox County Deputy and School Resource Officer Steve Owens added the following: “The safety and wellbeing of our children is the greatest priority. Of course that extends beyond the school grounds as best as we can do it. Any time an opportunity comes along to develop our use a new approach or program to protect these children it’s our responsibility to try, and then to nurture that. I’m beyond excited to have the opportunity to be a part in reaching out to our children in a new way. I can’t offer the immense gratitude I have for Mollie and Saint Joseph’s to do this. I would also like to thank Mrs. Haneline for being so willing to assist in this and Superintendent Ledford for taking part as a system.”
For more information about how to schedule a program and appearance by Eddie Eagle reach out to Mollie Harris (Mollie.Harris@commonspirit.org) and/or Deputy Steve Owens (firstname.lastname@example.org).