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Saint Joseph London Nurturing Children Program Expands Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program to All Elementary Schools in the Knox County School District

LONDON, Ky. (May 16, 2023) – The Nurturing Children Program at Saint Joseph London has expanded the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program to all elementary schools in the Knox County School District. The Nurturing Children Program launched Eddie Eagle at Lynn Camp Elementary School in January to help keep kids safe when they encounter a firearm. Since its launch, 2,531 Knox County school district students have been successfully trained.

“We are proud to expand this program throughout schools in Knox County and educate more children on the importance of gun safety,” said John Yanes, president, Saint Joseph London. “This project would not have been possible without the support of the Knox County Sheriff's Department and the SROs in the school district, Barbourville Police Department and the administration in the Knox County School District.”

The Nurturing Children Program will launch Eddie Eagle in Laurel County schools this fall.

The mission of the Eddie Eagle program is to teach children four simple steps so they know what to do if they ever come across a gun. Those easy-to-remember steps are: Stop; Don’t Touch; Run Away; and Tell a Grown-Up. The program was developed in 1988 by a task force composed of educators, school administrators, curriculum specialists, urban housing safety officials, clinical psychologists, law enforcement officials and National Rifle Association firearm safety experts.

“Our program is dedicated to educating children on how to interact when a firearm is present in an engaging way that they understand,” said Mollie Harris, manager, Violence Prevention Program at Saint Joseph London. “This would not be possible without the volunteer hours by Lynn Camp High School senior T.J. Mills, who took time out of his busy schedule to give back to the students in his district by being our mascot, ‘Eddie the Eagle.’ We are grateful for his dedication to engaging the students in our program and helping us spread this important message.”

Principal Sabrina King said the students at GR Hampton Elementary School loved Eddie Eagle.

“All students, from kindergarten to sixth grade, were engaged during the entire presentation,” said King. “Even at the end of the school day, students were singing the song. This is how we get a message out to children that they will remember!”

Principal Eric Hubbard of Central Elementary School said, “We appreciate CHI Saint Joseph Health for allowing the Eddie Eagle program to come to our school and teaching our students what to do if they ever encounter a gun and how to always be safe.”

According to the Gun Violence Archive, in 2022, two children under the age of 11 were killed and 19 injured in gun incidents in Kentucky. Six teens were killed, and 53 were injured in the same year in the Commonwealth. Across the U.S., between 2015 and 2020, there were at least 2,070 unintentional shootings by children that resulted in 765 deaths and 1,366 nonfatal gun injuries, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

The Nurturing Children Program at Saint Joseph London is made possible through a grant from the CommonSpirit Health Mission and Ministry Fund. The goal of the program is to reduce child abuse and neglect as well as child fatality. Schools interested in participating in the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program can contact Mollie Harris at [email protected].

 

About CHI Saint Joseph Health

CHI Saint Joseph Health, part of CommonSpirit Health, is one of the largest and most comprehensive health systems in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with 100 locations in 20 counties, including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes, home health agencies and an ambulatory Care Center. The hospitals in CHI Saint Joseph Health are Flaget Memorial Hospital, Saint Joseph Berea, Saint Joseph East, Saint Joseph Hospital, Saint Joseph Jessamine, Saint Joseph London, Saint Joseph Mount Sterling, and Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East. In total, the health system serves patients in 35 counties statewide. CHI Saint Joseph Health is dedicated to providing a wide array of services toward a goal of building a healthier future for all. CHI Saint Joseph Health embodies a strong mission and faith-based heritage and works through local partnerships to expand access to care in the communities it serves.

About Saint Joseph London

Saint Joseph London is a 150-bed full-service hospital located in London, Kentucky. Established in 1926, the facility serves patients from southeastern Kentucky, including those from Clay, Laurel, Jackson, Whitley, Knox and Pulaski counties. The current $152 million regional hospital opened in 2010, and offers all private patient rooms, with most overlooking a small lake and garden on the 52-acre healing environment.

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Sergeant Josh Lawson, Barbourville Police Department; Eddie Eagle; Jara Burkhart, Violence Prevention Coordinator; SRO Steve Owens, Knox County Sheriff's Department; and Mollie Harris, Violence Prevention Manager | Nurturing Children Program; at Barbourville Independent School.

Sergeant Josh Lawson, Barbourville Police Department; Eddie Eagle; Jara Burkhart, Violence Prevention Coordinator; SRO Steve Owens, Knox County Sheriff's Department; and Mollie Harris, Violence Prevention Manager | Nurturing Children Program; at Barbourville Independent School.

Publish date: 

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

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