Last year, I decided to implement the annual Ready Georgia kids contest as a classroom activity for a group of my elementary students during National Preparedness Month – and it was a fantastic decision! As the technology coordinator for Hannan Academy, I found that the video portion of the contest fit in perfectly with our curriculum. The students really jumped into the project. They began by drafting a script. Then they moved on to props and costume design. Many students even stayed after school to work on the movie. My students grew to understand the technical aspects of creating a movie, but in the process learned how important it is to be prepared, have a plan and stay informed when it comes to emergencies. Several students even went home and created their own Ready kits with their families.
As if we had not already had enough fun creating our video entry, my class won the contest video category with our video, “The Disaster Diverter,” and we received a voucher for a pizza party, courtesy of Papa John’s.
This year’s contest is sure to be a blast too; my students are already brainstorming ideas for our next video venture. I encourage all Georgia elementary teachers and parents to participate in this year’s kids contest with their third, fourth or fifth-graders. Whether your students create art, write an essay or produce a video, it is sure to be a fun and educational project. Through Oct. 18, students can submit entries that creatively reflect the theme – “Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared” – and illustrate their personal experiences or knowledge of disaster preparedness. A team of judges will review the entries and select the top finishers, with first, second and third prizes awarded in the art and essay categories, and one winner selected in the video category.
Emergency preparedness can be an uncomfortable topic to talk about, especially with children. The Ready Georgia kids contest makes it easy, and puts a fun spin on a not-so-fun subject. Visit the ReadyKids section of the Ready Georgia website to learn more about this educational contest and to download entry forms.
Shannon Hustick is the technology coordinator for Hannan Academy in Columbus, GA.