Preparedness Puppets teach awareness

February 25, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

Thanks to a grant from the Richard D. Marting Foundation, the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross has been making presentations to area schools with a “Preparedness puppet show.”

“Part of the Red Cross’s mission is to prevent, prepare and respond to emergencies in our community. So, in the vein of preparedness, we want to teach our community how to shelter in place,” said Mary Arnzen, Executive Director of the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross. “We thought the best way to do this is though the kids. They will get their parents excited about building a home preparedness kit so they can shelter in place.”

On Monday, students of Notre Dame Elementary were taught what to do in the event of an emergency, through the interactive puppet show.

She said they are hoping to bring the message of the preparedness puppet show to every school in the area.

“We usually give the show for students in 1-6 grades. We have done several presentations already and have likely trained about 500 kids in our community,” Arnzen said.

She said the students reaction to the performances have been largely positive.

“They (students) get very excited about this so I think we’ve hit the nail on the head in trying to get the kids to convey the message to their family,” Arnzen said.

She said some of the things the students take away from the performance include learning how to to have the necessary items in their home in case they need to shelter in place.

The Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross is located at 1801 Robinson Ave. Portsmouth and can be reached at 740-354-3293.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com.