The American Red Cross of Massachusetts is preparing students to be ready for anything.
The Pillowcase Project was originally created by the Southeast Louisiana Red Cross Chapter after Hurricane Katrina. In 2013, the Red Cross received a grant from Disney to standardize the program and make it nationally available, we have just completed the multi-year pilot program. The project teaches children how to prepare for emergencies and coping skills based on three steps: Learn, Practice and Share. Children in grades 3 through 5 (ages 8 to 11) learn how to stay safe in an emergency and are empowered to take action by practicing preparedness. They’re encouraged to share what they’ve learned with family and friends, knowing that their information can help create a better-prepared community.
The Pillowcase Project is taught by trained Red Cross volunteers in a 40 or 60-minute session during classroom sessions, after-school programs, at summer camp, religious meetings and more. The Red Cross has already trained more than 7,000 students in Massachusetts.
Children participating in the project each receive a preparedness toolkit, which includes a ‘My Preparedness Workbook’ and a pillowcase they can personalize. Participants also receive a pledge certificate.