NJEA and the Red Cross Partner Together for “Pillowcase Project”

The NJEA and the Red Cross have joined forces to help children better cope with emergency situations. So named because the project’s tools are stored in pillowcases — which provides an easy-to-grasp and convenient way for young children to carry necessary items — the Pillowcase Project encompasses a few basic supplies and key information that is applicable to a number of emergency situations.

What’s the Pillowcase Project All About?

For today’s children, emergencies of all sorts are all too common. Often, young children are simply not provided with the tools and information they need in order to cope effectively. The Pillowcase Project provides children ages 8 to 11 — typically those in grades three through five — with strategies and information with an emphasis on staying safe during emergencies while also empowering them to be action-oriented through preparedness.

And Inside the Pillowcase, You’ll Find…

Kids often feel at the mercy of those around them when it comes to a disaster and its aftermath. With the Pillowcase Project, each child decorates and personalizes their own pillowcase that can then be stored conveniently under their bed or in their backpack for emergencies. The following are some suggestions for items that are good candidates for inclusion:

  • water bottle
  • food such as granola bars and dried fruit
  • radio
  • flashlight with extra batteries
  • dollars and coins
  • small blanket

A Three-Step Process

With the Pillowcase Project, helping children is a three-step process:

  • LEARN what to do to stay safe during a disaster,
  • PRACTICE what they’ve learned — such as going over a fire escape plan on a regular basis
  • SHARE their newfound knowledge with friends, family members and other loved ones

With the Pillowcase Project, NJEA hopes give children a sense of empowerment that helps sustain them during the challenging times that are a reality of life today.

Katie S. fancies herself as a sort of modern Renaissance woman. Before becoming a writer, she enjoyed careers as a teacher, computer equipment repairer, medical office manager, forklift driver and more. When she isn’t penning witty euphemisms, you’ll find Katie exploring the diverse offerings of her home state, reading the latest book that catches her eye at the library or caring for her pets.

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