MVSD-American Red Cross Pillowcase Project

Mountain View School District Students Learn to Prepare for an Emergency Through the American Red Cross Pillowcase Project
  Mountain View School District’s 10 elementary schools were recently visited by representatives from The American Red Cross who presented The Pillowcase Project,  a program that teaches kids about emergency preparedness. Geared toward students in 3rd through 5th grade, the goal of The Pillowcase Project is to have kids learn how to prepare for emergencies and bring it to their families so they can be ready and prepared at all times.  

     Created in New Orleans and sponsored by Disney, the Pillowcase Project was inspired by local university students carrying their belongings in pillowcases in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  MVSD’s students each received their own Disney pillowcase to decorate and personalize, and learned how to create their own emergency supplies kits by packing essential items in the pillowcase for easy transport during an emergency.   The Pillowcase Project is one of the most popular campaigns for the Red Cross and has reached over 270,000 students across the nation. 

     In addition to decorating their pillowcases and learning what they should put in them in case of an emergency, the students learned how to prepare for emergencies, enhance coping skills, practice what they have learned and share their knowledge with friends and family so that when an emergency occurs everyone knows what to do. The program emphasizes the importance of developing an emergency communications plan, fire evacuation plan and emergency contact cards.

     At Baker School students were eager to learn about earthquake and fire safety and enthusiastically shared what they know about staying safe during a quake. 

     “When an earthquake hits we are supposed to get under something like a table or our desk,” said one student. 

     “That is correct,” said the Red Cross representative. “In an earthquake you need to drop, cover and hold. Drop underneath something sturdy, cover your head and neck, and hold on until the shaking stops,” she added. 
“If there is a fire and your clothes are on fire you need to stop, drop and roll. Your number one job is to protect yourself and get out in any emergency.”

      Students also received a preparedness workbook to take home and fill out with their family. The workbook helps families create a home fire escape map, an emergency communications plan, emergency contact cards, and an emergencies supplies kit. 

     “I can’t wait to fill my pillowcase up with important things for an emergency,” said a student. “I’m going to put a flashlight, batteries, water, snacks, tennis shoes and clothes in it and leave it next to my bed so I can grab it quickly if I need to.”     

      “We greatly appreciate the American Red Cross for bringing The Pillowcase Project to our schools and teaching our kids about the importance of emergency preparedness in a fun and interactive way,” said George Schonborn, MVSD’s Director of Pupil Personnel Services. “The students had a great time decorating their pillowcase and look forward to filling them up with essential disaster preparedness supplies.”

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