1 minute readHealth & Safety
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Students Become Teachers with the Pillowcase Project


According to a recent poll conducted informally among several adult friends, approximately zero percent had their act together and knew what they would do in the event of an emergency. Granted, this survey was conducted at a social gathering where the priorities were eating and avoiding conversation with that boring preparedness guy. Fair enough.

However, my daughter – always seizing any opportunity to teach us old people a thing or two – quickly offered her two cents on the subject.

“Grab your emergency kit, follow your escape plan to safely get out of the house, and call for help,” she said with confidence.

That was far better than any of the grown-ups had to say on the subject. If she had been holding a microphone, she would have dropped it at their feet before she skipped away.

Chalk up another success story for the Red Cross Pillowcase Project!

Red Cross volunteers had recently visited her classroom to educate the students about how they can be prepared for an emergency situation and help their families stay safe, and it was already paying off!

Designed for elementary school students in grades 3-5, the Pillowcase Project is a one-hour classroom session that encourages students to “learn, practice, and share” important emergency preparedness information.



  • Regularly practice emergency plans with all members of their household

Share (my daughter’s favorite part)

  • Tell friends and family what they have learned and help them take steps to be prepared!

Of course the impact of this program extends well beyond my daughter’s sphere of influence, having expanded to more than 60 Red Cross regions across the country since its inception. In fact, when a tornado recently touched down in Moore, Oklahoma, at least one young man saved the day thanks to his pillowcase!

As parents, we’re supposed to have all the answers. At least our kids like to think we should. But if you’ve ever fumbled around with a Smartphone as your kid rolls their eyes at you, you know our children can teach us a few things. And when it comes to the Pillowcase Project, what our kids have to teach us could be lifesaving.

Red Cross volunteers are bringing the Pillowcase Project to classrooms around the country. To find out how you can bring it to your school, contact your local Red Cross office.