The Pillowcase Project, a national program offered in schools, after-school programs, summer camps and other youth programs and events to teach 3rd - 5th graders and their families how to prepare for disasters.
The Pillowcase Project curriculum is structured by three core principles: Learn, Practice and Share. Students will learn about hazards, how to prepare for emergencies, enhance coping skills, practice what they have learned and share their knowledge with friends and family. The program emphasizes the importance of developing an emergency communications plan, fire evacuation plan and emergency contact cards.
The program also teaches students how to create their own emergency supply kits by packing essential items in a pillowcase for easy transport during an emergency. Students will have the opportunity to decorate and personalize their pillowcases during the presentation, and are encouraged to take them home to create a kit.
Created in New Orleans, The Pillowcase Project was inspired by the story of local university students carrying their belongings in pillowcases during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Through the program, the Red Cross aims to incorporate preparedness education into elementary school and after-school curriculums nationwide. The program is sponsored by Disney.
“Kids are at a much higher risk of being hurt in a home fire or other disaster,” said Russ Paulsen, executive director, Community Preparedness for the Red Cross nationwide. “The Pillowcase Project helps them protect themselves by teaching them in a fun way how to be safe.”