Lafayette, LA – February 28 — The American Red Cross, in partnership with South Louisiana Community College, will instruct more than 600 fifth-grade students on The Pillowcase Project on Thursday, February 28 and Friday
March 1. Over the last month, Registered Nursing (RN) students at the college have been trained on the components of The Pillowcase Project as part of their mental health rotation.
“In our Mental Health class this semester, our RN students are learning about the emotional impact of emergencies. They are learning how to cope,” said Dr. Nellie Prudhomme, instructor and chairman, Allied H-Registered Nurse Program. “This project will let our students take what they are learning and put it into practice with these fifth graders.”
Offered by the American Red Cross, The Pillowcase Project is a free program for 3rd to 5th grade children to help increase awareness of natural hazards and encourage emergency preparedness actions. The program was originally created in New Orleans, inspired by university students who carried their belongings in pillowcases during evacuations for Hurricane Katrina.
In the class, students receive a pillowcase to decorate and use as a personal emergency supplies kit. Children are also encouraged to work with adult members of their households to create an emergency plan and supplies kit. The curriculum is structured by a “Learn, Practice, Share” framework. Students learn about the science of a locally relevant hazard and how to best prepare for it. They practice what to do if a disaster occurs and how to cope with related fear and stress. Then they share the information and skills they have learned with their family and friends so everyone in the household knows what to do.