Schools throughout the state are encouraged to begin signing up now for this year’s STEP program, which teaches students how to prepare for disasters and react to emergencies. The program is possible thanks to a $15,000 grant from AT&T and the donation of 6,000 first aid kits from Walgreens.
The STEP program teaches students how to prepare for emergencies and encourages them to share that information with their families.
STEP (Student Tools for Emergency Planning) is a turn-key classroom curriculum for teachers to prepare 5th grade students for various emergencies and disasters, including tornadoes, flooding and storms. The program also shows students how to put together an emergency kit and develop an emergency plan with their families.
The program is being funded this year through a $15,000 Innovation & Investment Award from AT&T Wisconsin.
Teachers are provided with all materials at no cost to the schools, including instructor guides, DVDs and copies of student handouts. All students participating in the program will also receive an emergency kit to take home, which includes a flashlight, first aid kit and emergency blanket. The basic lesson is only one hour of instruction, but teachers can expand the lessons to cover eight hours of materials.
Wisconsin became the first state in the Midwest to teach the STEP program during the 2010-2011 school year. Nearly 2,400 students from Wisconsin schools participated in the program during that first year. That number grew to 6,000 students in the 2011-2012 school year, and the goal for this year is to reach 10,000 students.
For more information on the STEP program, visit http://readywisconsin.wi.gov/STEP/default.asp to view a STEP video and download a brochure, or contact Tod Pritchard at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608) 242-3324.
Interested schools must apply for the STEP program by visiting http://readywisconsin.wi.gov/STEP/default.asp.
Applications are due by Oct. 26, and participants will be notified by Nov. 9. Materials will be distributed to schools in December, and instruction should be complete by the end of the 2012-2013 academic year.