The Pillowcase Project is a preparedness education program for children in grades 3 – 5, which teaches students about being prepared during disasters, local hazards, and it also teaches basic coping skills. Students receive a sturdy pillowcase upon completion of the program in which they are encouraged to build their emergency supplies kit. Presentations are customized to focus on a hazard or disaster that is important and relevant to the local community.
The project was originally developed by the New Orleans chapter of the American Red Cross after Hurricane Katrina. The program, which is currently sponsored by Disney, was standardized and updated in 2013 and pilot tested in several Red Cross regions. The Pillowcase Project has now been expanded to include 60 Red Cross regions covering most states in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The Global Disaster Preparedness Center is also working with Disney to expand the program internationally.
Pillowcase Project presentations are currently being scheduled and given in schools, after-school programs, Girl and Boy Scout troop meetings and other sites and events across the country. Disney is donating the pillowcases embossed with suggestions like toothbrush, portable radio and so on. The children are asked to add to it and decorate the pillowcases, teaching them responsibility and ownership of making sure they have what they need.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
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