Southeastern Connecticut Chapter

Masters Of Disaster School Program

One-of-a-Kind Disaster Education Curriculum Developed for School Children

If a disaster struck your community, would your children know what to do? Children thirteen and younger account for 40 percent of all people affected by disasters. The American Red Cross believes that educating children about disasters can have significant life-saving potential for families in disaster-prone communities.

Masters of Disaster is an interactive disaster safety curriculum for children, being taught in dozens of schools in disaster-prone areas across the nation. Developed by the American Red Cross with generous funding from the Allstate Foundation, Masters of Disaster teaches children in kindergarten through 8th grade the skills and knowledge they need to prepare for a disaster, to recognize the warning signs for certain disasters, and to recover from a disaster in their home, school, or community.

The Masters of Disaster curriculum is a collection of activities, lesson plans, posters, stickers, certificates and a video specifically tailored for lower elementary (K-2), upper elementary (3-5) and middle school (6-8) classes. Through the curriculum, students and families learn about the science of disasters; how to prepare for earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and lightning; and what to do in the event of one of these hazards.

The materials are designed to teach this lifesaving information through regular classes in math, science, social studies and language arts. For example, a teacher can show students how to plot latitude and longitude on a map by using the curriculum's lesson on how to track a hurricane, or augment instruction on the water cycle with activities in the lessons on floods. Or a teacher working with students on word recognition and decoding will choose to use the vocabulary section of the curriculum.

Masters of Disaster was successfully pilot tested during the fall of 1999 in 40 disaster-prone locations, including Guam, Puerto Rico and 23 states. More than 380 teachers from 90 schools in districts large and small taught lessons from the curriculum. Many expressed great enthusiasm for the program, and their evaluations and input were instrumental in helping to mold the final lesson plans and activities.

The Masters of Disaster curriculum is flexible and easy for teachers to use. It is designed to help teachers meet state and local performance objectives while arming families and communities for whatever disasters the future may bring.

Check out the Kid's Masters of Disaster Page to see posters and essays from kids who have participated in the program.

For more information about Masters of Disaster, call 447-3248.

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