The American Red Cross Pillowcase Project is a free, interactive preparedness program designed for youth ages 8 to 11. The program aims to increase awareness and understanding of natural hazards and teaches safety, emotional coping skills, and personal preparedness.
Through instructor-led presentations, students learn the best ways to stay safe and how to create their own emergency supply kits by packing essential items in a pillowcase for easy transport during a disaster. Students also have the opportunity to decorate and personalize their pillowcases and share what they’ve learned with friends and family.
The curriculum meets many of the Common Core State Standards for grades three to five.
You may request The Pillowcase Project one-hour presentation for your school or youth program by selecting The Pillowcase Project here.
The Gold Country Region is also always looking for volunteers to lead Pillowcase Project presentations. Go to redcross.org to sign up and help!
Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina gave birth to a wonderful project for children – The Pillowcase Project. This preparedness education program for 3rd through 5th grade students teaches about personal and family preparedness, local hazards, and basic coping skills.
During the 10th Anniversary of Katrina, Red Cross chapters across the nation have been participating in the World’s Largest Pillowcase Projects to increase awareness of this unique project. The Gold Country region kicked off this event at Prairie Elementary School in Elk Grove.
We were so thrilled to have Fox40 showcasing the project, the students and our volunteers LIVE on the air and later on in their evening newscast. Below you can see the piece in their 6PM News.
Four Fun Facts About the Pillowcase Project:
The Red Cross Pillowcase Project began in New Orleans after the disaster, where volunteers reached out to children in the community who remembered Katrina’s fury and remained afraid of storms.
The Red Cross took the lead in talking with them about disasters and loss, about rebuilding their lives starting with a pillowcase and a plan. Children began to feel the strength that comes from being prepared.
In the past 10 years, the Pillowcase Project has expanded to hundreds communities across the United States to help children better plan for their future. And it all begins with a pillowcase.
In the Gold Country Region, we have shared the Pillowcase Project with more than 3600 students.
Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, will mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The storm destroyed much of the Gulf Coast including Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.
In remembrance of those who lost lives, to recognize the resiliency of those who survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, and to honor the volunteers who facilitated recovery, the American Red Cross is creating the World’s Largest Pillowcase Projecton or before Saturday, Aug. 29.
Hurricane Katrina highlighted the need to create better prepared communities. An initiative born in post-Katrina New Orleans, “The Pillowcase Project” of the American Red Cross teaches children how to prepare for emergencies, practice what they have learned, and share their knowledge with family and friends.
The Gold Country Region has been educating children in the 24-county region since 2014 and to date we have reached more than 3600 school aged kids!
This 10th anniversary of the devastating hurricane, we will share the message of preparedness one week leading up to August 29th at Prairie Elementary School located in Elk Grove. We will be holding not one, but seven disaster preparedness workshops to increase awareness of this unique children’s project, reinforcing the importance of disaster preparedness planning.
More about The Pillowcase Project
Red Cross New Orleans CEO Kay Wilkins had learned that Loyola University students carried their valuables in pillowcases when they evacuated for Katrina. This inspired Wilkins and her team to work with an art therapist to create a program around decorating pillowcases for the children living in makeshift communities across New Orleans during Katrina recovery. Soon, their Pillowcase Project became a preparedness education program for elementary school students. After just a few years, several other Red Cross chapters adapted and implemented the program with substantial success.
In early 2013, the Walt Disney Company funded the design and development phase of a multi- year effort to build on this success by creating a standardized, state-of-the-art preparedness education program. The Pillowcase Project is now customized for use by Red Cross chapters across the United States and internationally reaching hundreds of thousands of elementary school-aged children in the classroom and in after-school settings.
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