Sunflower House Education Team Breaks 45-year Record

July 3, 2023

by Judith Rodman
President & CEO


From Left: Monica Cattau, Education Program Director, Judi Rodman, President/CEO, and Happy Bear celebrate training a record-breaking 40,000 children and adults on how to recognize and report child abuse.

Cue the fireworks – we are breaking records at Sunflower House!

We are wrapping up our 2023 fiscal year with exciting news: Our Education Team taught 40,000 children and adults how to recognize and respond to child abuse this year. That’s 10,000 more children and adults reached in just one year. No additional staff, just the dedication of educators Monica, Christina, and Alisha, Happy Bear, our education partners, and donors who made this possible. 

Wow! Let’s celebrate and think about the impact that has on children.  

Education is the cornerstone of our efforts to stop child abuse. When children learn about personal safety, welcome and unwelcome touch, and how to talk to a trusted adult, we give them an invaluable tool. Many children don’t know what’s happening to them is abuse, that it’s wrong, and it’s not their fault. They don’t have the words to talk about it or who they can or should tell. 

A visit from Happy Bear and Sunflower House might be the first time a child realizes what happened to them is abuse. This knowledge changes everything. It is not unusual for a child to disclose abuse after attending a Happy Bear play, Think First & Stay Safe, or an E-Safety Presentation with Sunflower House. Their disclosure may be the same day, a few weeks, or months later. 

Adults must know what to do when they suspect abuse and how to handle a disclosure. Our response can make all the difference in the child’s life. We need to know how to spot the signs earlier, recognize when a child is trying to tell us in their way, and what steps we need to take to help protect them.

When education is our most powerful tool to fight child abuse, we must do more. 

How do we top a record-breaking year? We must turn that 40,000 number to 50,000, 100,000, and more. We need another Education Specialist on our team, new Happy Bear costumes, more adults attending training, and more outreach in our community. 

We can educate more children and adults, provide trauma-informed services when abuse is discovered, and partner with PACES for therapy for child victims and their families. See below for ways to partner with Sunflower House to protect children from physical and sexual abuse. 

Have a safe and happy holiday!

About Judith Rodman

Judith (Judi) Rodman is the President and CEO of Sunflower House, the Child Advocacy Center serving Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas. Ms. Rodman has more than 25 years experience in community mental health, family services, therapeutic intervention with children and families, and nonprofit leadership. Ms. Rodman has extensive nonprofit experience in program development and evaluation, staff leadership, and managing state, federal, and private grants.  Read More.

Partner with Sunflower House to protect children:

  1. Attend FREE training sessions and learn to recognize and respond to child abuse. 
  2. Make a gift to buy new Happy Bear costumes to reach more children! 
  3. Become a Friends of Sunflower House volunteer and help with outreach and events.
  4. Donate school supplies so our kids start the school year on the right track. 
  5. Join our Petals of Promise Monthly Donors or make a one-time gift to Sunflower House. 
  6. Attend our annual Circle of Safety Breakfast or host a table of 10 to share our mission. 
  7. Take a tour of Sunflower House and invite your friends, family, and co-workers.
  8. Host a Wish List Drive for our children and families (our kids LOVE squishmallows!) 
  9. Know how to report suspected abuse in Kansas and Missouri.
  10. Follow us on social media – Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. 



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