IDEAS, the Innovation Studio, has partnered with the Florida Division of Emergency Management to create www.KidsGetAPlan.com. The website, being featured at the Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference, is based on three books IDEAS wrote in 2004 for first, second, and third graders in Florida schools. The website was created to help teach children how to prepare themselves and their families for hazardous weather.
“This was a great opportunity for us to take the books that we created a few years ago for DEM and take them to the logical next level,” Kelly Pounds, VP, IDEAS Learning noted. “Utilizing the creative and story lines from the books and putting this work online allowed our team to add so much more depth from just a one dimensional platform.”
A 3D cartoon featuring characters from the books greets all Floridians on the home page of the site. Kids are then prompted to choose from online interactive stories where they can have the story read to them or read on their own with just-in-time help if they get stuck. There are reading cues to help improve their comprehension and a glossary to help increase their vocabulary. Instructional activities include games that reinforce the learning from the books, including an activity that allows them to build a Disaster Supply Kit for their own family. Downloadable coloring pages, character profiles, and fully produced and sound designed depictions of the books are also available. The reading materials were developed in alignment with the Florida Sunshine State Standards for reading and science. A guide for teachers and parents is available for each story to help extend the activities into the home and classroom.
“This new site will help provide important information and educational materials about weather hazards and safety tips for use by students, parents, and teachers alike. There is something valuable there for all ‘kids’ – both the young and young at heart.” said Craig Fugate, FEMA Director and former Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
The storybook for first graders, The Adventures of Rabbit, Possum, and Squirrel in The 30/30 Rule, teaches young children how they can protect themselves from lightning strikes. Professor Tinkermeister and the Wacky, Whiz-Bang, Weather-Watching Wonder, shows second grade readers how to protect themselves from thunderstorms. In The Oak Tree Club, third graders learn about how they can create a Disaster Supply Kit for their families to prepare for a hurricane.