Thursday, 24 March 2016

Australian Red Cross - Pillowcase Workshop; a Disaster Preparedness Education program

Contact: Debra Ong, Australian Red Cross
p: Tel +61 3 6235 6004 | Mobile  481 438 906    e:

Date: March, April, May, June 2016           RSVP: Closing date, June 2016
Location: Statewide - Primary Schools

Intended Audience: 8-10 year olds / years 3 to 4. In a fun and constructive way the Pillowcase Project classroom activity builds the ability of children to be part of a household prepared for or dealing with disaster situations.

Australian Red Cross Emergency Services in Tasmania has an opportunity to deliver to a limited number of primary schools the "Pillowcase" Workshop; a disaster preparedness program designed for 8 – 10 year olds.

We would like to invite primary schools to participate in a workshop during the months of March, April, May or June this year.

The preferred group size is 20-30 students however if that is not practical, we do have some flexibility to include other grades.
What is the project
The Pillowcase Project is a school based disaster preparedness education program designed to target 8-10 year olds, years 3 to 4. In a fun and constructive way it builds their knowledge and capacity in disaster preparedness.

Adapted from an existing American Red Cross program, the project was originally inspired by the events of Hurricane Katrina in the US. Students of a local University used pillowcases to carry their cherished and basic possessions while evacuating campus. Upon hearing this, Red Cross staff developed the concept of using a pillowcase as an emergency kit. The program quickly grew into an educational preparedness program that has since become known as the Pillowcase Project.

What will it entail
The 60 minute presentation includes a discussion on the importance of being prepared, an activity to demonstrate how to prepare your mind for the feelings and emotions that may arise before, during and after an emergency, as well as an art activity, decorating personal emergency kits in the form of pillowcases.

In addition to the presentation, students will receive a free copy of our RediPlan household preparedness resources (dependent on state availability) to take home to their families/carers, as well as a pillowcase to continue creating their own personal emergency kit.

We are able to conduct multiple sessions on a given day/s.
This session is run free of charge to the school.
What's expected of schools
  • Supervising teacher's will be asked to complete a short session evaluation form during the presentation.
Benefits for schools
  • Reinforcing core curriculum concepts
  • The lesson can be more than a stand alone session – Red Cross can provide lesson plans for an inquiry unit – REDiPlan preparedness program
  • Opportunity for children to hear experts talking about emergencies
  • Increase awareness in children of the importance of personal preparedness
  • Create an enhanced sense of community through collaborative preparedness activities
Why Red Cross
In the last few years, Red Cross have been actively creating content to support children, their educators and caretakers in understanding the psychosocial impact of emergencies and undertaking activities to reduce the disruption that an emergency can cause their lives.

The psychological and social wellbeing of children and young people, including their ability to cope during and after an emergency, has driven a number of our activities to date. Australian Red Cross has created:
  • A suite of lesson plans to support teachers undertaking inquiry based learning activities in emergency preparedness and recovery with students from pre-school to year 12. The lesson plans have been endorsed by the Australian Psychologists Society and the Australia Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network.
  • Fact sheets for parents on how to talk to children about emergencies and helping children cope with crisis. 
  • Activity books for children in preparedness and recovery. 
  • An After the Emergency website, podcast and playlist, for young people aged 12-25 recovering from an emergency. 
For further information, or to book a workshop for your school please contact: