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American Red Cross Prepares Students for Disasters Through The Pillowcase Project

The Alabama Region of the American Red Cross, in partnership with McWane Science Center, is launching The Pillowcase Project, a national program sponsored by Disney. The pillow case project is offered in schools, after-school programs, summer camps and other youth programs and events to teach third through fifth graders and their families how to prepare for disasters.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. 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.

On August 29, 2015, from 10 am to 4pm, the Pillowcase Project program will be taught at McWane Science Center and 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. The Red Cross, along with Jefferson County EMA will showcase the pillowcase project and provide emergency preparedness awareness to children who participate.

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 teaches students how to create their own emergency supply kits by packing essential items in a pillowcase for easy transport during an emergency.

“We are thrilled to offer The Pillowcase Project in local schools and after-school programs. The program gives students the opportunity to learn about the science behind various hazards and the importance of preparedness in a fun and interactive way,” said Alicia Anger, Director of Communications and Marketing American Red Cross-Alabama Region. “The hands-on activities will also help to build confidence so that children are prepared to take action during an emergency.” 

“We are very happy to partner with the Alabama Region of the American Red Cross to bring this program to our guests at McWane Science Center.  We value the importance this project brings to our children and the long-standing benefits it will give to them,” said Amy Templeton, President and CEO of McWane Science Center.  “We are excited to have this special day for our visitors.”

About the American Red Cross The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross, @alabamaredcross

McWane Science Center is a nonprofit, hands-on discovery museum and IMAX Dome Theater. Designed to inspire a life-long love of learning, McWane Science Center has welcomed millions of visitors since opening its doors in 1998. With four floors of interactive exhibits, McWane has an extensive lineup of science demonstrations performed daily by award-winning educators. Explorers of all ages flock year-round to see, to hear, to touch, and to experience the wonder of science in one of the South’s most unique venues. For more information, visit