The Suwannee Primary School’s (SPS) 21st Century Summer Program received a visit from The American Red Cross (ARC) and the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management (SCEM) on July 18.

The SCEM began the morning by reading to the students about how to be safe during a thunderstorm. SCEM specialist Sharon Hingson, with the help of a few students, created an “indoor thunderstorm” for the children. Hingson also read a story highlighting the difference between a “tornado watch” and a “tornado warning.” Hingson closed by recapping the importance of always having a plan in case of an emergency and handed out first aid kits for the students to take home.

The ARC representative Kathy Bland began by telling the students what ARC does and how they work with SCEM in emergency scenarios. Bland stressed the importance of practicing fire safety with an interactive demonstration. Students learned of the ‘Pillowcase Project’ and received a pillowcase of their own. According to the ARC website, the ‘Pillowcase Project’, “teaches children coping skills to help them deal with an emergency situation and also offers tips and tools to help them prepare for emergencies.” Bland says the hope is children will learn how to stay safe in an emergency and are ready to take action by practicing preparedness.

Following the conclusion of the presentations, the students returned to their classroom to play with Legos and color their pillowcases.

Photos from the day can be found on the Suwannee County School District Facebook Page.