Disney Pillowcase Project

Roanoke, VA - Local American Red Cross chapters are bringing emergency preparedness to elementary students with the Pillowcase Project. This project will create a generation of children to understand the hazards and to take action by being prepared and sharing their emergency preparedness knowledge with others.

There are three actions that must be followed by the students for the Pillowcase Project:

  • Learn: Provide students with basic information about an emergency that is most likely to happen where they live and instruct them with key protective actions.
  • Practice: Give students the opportunity to participate in a physical activity that reinforces what they have learned.
  • Share: Encourage students to share what they have learned through collaborative small-group, problem-solving and discussion activities.
  • These interlocking concepts allow students to explore the science behind emergency preparedness. Students will also learn how emergencies are experienced in the real world so that they will understand both the environmental causes of natural hazards and what people should do to prepare themselves, their families and their communities for emergency situations.

    More information will come regarding which local elementary schools will participate and when the project will begin. For more information, contact Paula Poston at paula.poston@redcross.org or search for the Pillowcase Project on volunteerconnection.com.

    About the Pillowcase Project:

    The Pillowcase Project was created by the American Red Cross Southeast Louisiana Chapter and implemented in New Orleans schools following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. New Orleans CEO Kay Wilkins had learned that Loyola University students carried their valuables in pillowcases when they were 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, and after just a few years had been adapted and implemented by several other Red Cross chapters 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. As a result, The Pillowcase Project can now be customized for use by Red Cross chapters across the United States and expanded internationally to reach hundreds of thousands of elementary school-aged children both in the classroom and in after-school settings.

    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 redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.