Lauren’s Kids ‘Walk in My Shoes’ statewide trek set to arrive in Tallahassee

Walk in My Shoes -- Laurens Kids
The 1,500-mile walk will conclude next Saturday in Panama City.

The Lauren’s KidsWalk in My Shoes” program is set to arrive in Tallahassee Monday after organizing walks across the state to raise awareness of child sexual abuse survivors.

Next week is the closing week of the statewide trek, which covers 1,500 miles and also aims to educate residents about how to protect children from predators. April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Book herself is a survivor of child sexual abuse and founded Lauren’s Kids before joining the Legislature. An estimated 42 million survivors live in the U.S.

The visit to Tallahassee includes instruction at Sabal Palm Elementary School from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 22. Book will be there to teach personal safety lessons from her Safer, Smarter Kids curriculum, which has previously won a Suncoast Regional Emmy Award.

The walk will begin at 1 p.m. at Kleman Plaza, 306 S Duval Street, with registration launching at 12:30 p.m. That walk will end at the Pace Center for Girls, located at 311 E Jennings St #4427.

Tallahassee is an integral part of the “Walk in My Shoes” event. The annual walk first began as a 500-mile walk, finishing at the steps of the Historic Florida Capitol, but has now evolved into an even larger effort.

This year’s statewide walk started on April 3 at the Southernmost Point Buoy in Key West and includes more than 20 stops across the state. The final walk will take place Saturday, April 27, in Panama City. A concluding celebration is planned at the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center.

“April is a time to raise awareness and educate communities so that we can keep kids safe — and that’s what our 1,500-mile ‘Walk in My Shoes’ event is about,” Book said in a statement about the walk earlier this month.

One in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will suffer sexual abuse before graduating high school — and 1 in 5 children who touch a digital device will be sexually solicited online. The statistics are staggering, but the solution is clear: 95% of child sexual abuse IS preventable with education and awareness. Together, we can absolutely create change and protect childhood, and it all starts with education.”

Bikers Against Child Abusesexual assault treatment centerschildren’s advocacy centers, child protection units and local schools have all partnered with Lauren’s Kids to promote the walk.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


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