Evacuteer offers a flexible environmental science and hurricane preparedness children's program called EvacuKids, which targets underserved youth and children. Despite the annual threat of hurricanes and flooding, New Orleans’ schools do not offer any standard preparedness curriculum. EvacuKids works to train our city's children valuable lessons in hurricane preparedness and hazard knowledge relevant to living on the Gulf. We offer:
- Six, one-hour PowerPoint presentations paired with hands-on experiments and worksheets, including the Red Cross Pillowcase Project
- Trained young professionals from local universities and community organizations who are vetted and ready to serve
- In-school, after-school, or summer programming-- we can accommodate your needs
- Curriculum available for grades 3-5
Want to learn more about offering EvacuKids in your program? Contact Kali Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Since its development in 2009, we have reached over 800 underserved students to-date in the Gentilly, Central City, New Orleans East, and Broadmoor neighborhoods. Data from 2013 show successful preparedness implementation: 76.4% of students are able to identify what constitutes a complete preparedness kit and 84% of students were able to recall the location of their neighborhood Evacuspot and directions there.
In Orleans Parish, there are 78,845 children under the age of 18, of which 39% live in poverty, and 19% of overall households do not have access to a car. Despite the poor history of evacuation and the annual threat of hurricanes, New Orleans’ schools do not offer any standard disaster preparedness curriculum. Thus, it is crucial that EvacuKids is expanded to reach the most at-risk residents: our children and young adults. Of our program participants, 98% receive free or reduced lunches. Some communities are not only socio-economically vulnerable, but geographically vulnerable due to a higher likelihood of living in flood zones.
Fostering preparedness and literacy, the program teaches students about the science behind hurricanes, cyclonic formation, and other naturally occurring phenomena. Curiosity of the natural world is reinforced through the promotion of critical thinking and reasoning skills. Evacuation routes are important map features and EvacuKids are challenged to engage in spatial reasoning to locate the Louisiana coastline, Mississippi River, the City of New Orleans, their neighborhood, and their nearest Evacuspot. This learned preparedness expertise empowers children and youth to act before and during storms. Ultimately, our curriculum and coordinators foster self-sufficient, informed citizens who contribute to creating a sustainable, safer community.
The curriculum combines emergency preparedness, literacy enrichment, science exploration, and mapping/spatial recognition. The most important component of the EvacuKids program is emergency preparedness. For Orleans Parish, we want to ensure students leave with a complete understanding of City Assisted Evacuation (CAE), including the ability to identify and locate their closest evacuation pick-up-point, or Evacuspot. Once equipped with this knowledge each student leaves the program with new methods to prepare for disasters, and they share this information within their families and neighborhoods. Based on programming experience, the EvacuKids curriculum also combats the low literacy rate in New Orleans by integrating spelling, writing, and reading comprehension enrichment activities into fun, hands-on experiments.