New K.I.D.S – Two Pike County schools to pilot curriculum teaching disaster safety, preparedness
Published 3:29 am Tuesday, November 4, 2014
The Messenger/Jaine Treadwell and Ngoc Vo
Teachers at Goshen and Troy elementary schools will have an opportunity to test a new curriculum designed to education students in grades K-12 on natural disasters and how to prepare for them.
K.I.D.S., Kids Instructed on Disaster Safety, is a pilot project designed by Pike County EMA and the Pike County Extension Office and will focus on positive education on natural disasters.
“K.I.D.S. will teach students about natural disasters and the science behind them and will also focus on preparedness,” said Grant Lyons, Pike County Extension coordinator. “The idea is that, if students understand why storms form and their tremendous strength, then they will know how important it is that they are prepared when they come.”
Lyons and Jeanna Barnes, Pike County EMA director, developed lesson plans for the curriculum for the natural disaster module. Lesson plans on tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flood and tropical cyclones will be included in packets that will be made available to teachers at the participating schools.
The curriculum will be tested during the month of November at Goshen and Troy elementary schools and will feature four lessons.
Lyons said he and Barnes will also go into the schools to provide guidance to the teachers and to facilitate the program.
“Pre- and post-project student surveys will document changed behavior and that is what we will be looking for,” Lyons said. “Changed behavior toward natural disasters will demonstrate that students better understand the severity of these storms and are better prepared for them if they come. The goal of K.I.D.S. is changed behavior and the pre- and post student surveys will show ‘we’re getting it.’”
The planning for the program started one and a half years ago, Lyons said. The curriculum is designed with days of instructions and days of hand-on activities throughout the school year.
K.I.D.S curriculum can supplement a Common Core curriculum or be incorporated into an after-school program. The program aims at students from K to twelfth grade, but it can be delivered to a vast audience of any ages. “The goal is to bring the program statewide, then to regional and national levels,” Lyons said.
Lyons and Barnes have other disaster modules on the drawing board, including technological disasters and terrorism modules. These modules will be for older students while the natural disaster module is for all grade levels.
“We are honored to have been selected to pilot this program,” said Teresa Sims, TES principal. “It gives children the opportunity to be proactive about disaster safety and to be prepared for any disaster possibility.”
Madison Welch, a TES fourth-grader said she learned a great deal from the kickoff demonstrations. “I learned that they can go close enough to storms so we can see the storms on TV,” Welch said. “The storm tracker is my favorite part because it says we’re going to have snow this year.”
Auburn University and Troy University are supporting the K.I.D.S. program with resources that will help promote the program.
Other collaborating partners are: Pike County Commission, Troy City Council, National Weather Service-Birmingham, Meteorologist Josh Johnson and WSFA 12 News, Pike County Sheriff’s Department, Troy Police Department, Troy Fire and Rescue, Alabama Department of Public Health, Troy City Schools and Pike County Schools.