Empowering children to lead change : incorporating preparedness curricula in the K-12 educational system
Gustafson, Teresa S.
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A combination of both man-made and natural disasters in recent years has revitalized the concept of civil preparedness and defense in the United States. During the State of the Union Address in 2002, President George W. Bush announced the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Citizen Corps, a component of the USA Freedom Corps initiative developed shortly after 9/11. Additionally, FEMA launched the "Are You Ready?" campaign to provide individuals, families and communities in-depth preparedness information and training, and the American Red Cross developed its own educational disaster preparedness program designed to coincide with the daily threat level. While the various programs include several common themes including special emphasis on disaster preparedness for children, they lack promotion, visibility, standardization and coordination. Empowering children to lead change by teaching families and other citizens is one possible methodology to enhance visibility and inspire participation in such programs. This thesis explores pros and cons of historical and current citizen preparedness campaigns and K-12 preparedness curriculums, other country approaches to citizen preparedness, elements of successful preparedness programs, Homeland Security stakeholder benefits, potential arguments against implementation, and provides criteria for successful K-12 curricula.
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