- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Fifth-graders in Michigan have a chance to participate in a federally-funded program designed to help them prepare for emergencies, including tornadoes, flooding and storms, officials said.

Elementary schools across the state may enroll students in the Student Tools for Emergency Planning program, the Michigan State Police’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division announced this week.

“Students then take that knowledge home, making Michigan’s communities better prepared for an emergency or disaster,” Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, deputy state director of emergency management and homeland security, said in a statement.

Known as STEP, the program provides teachers with emergency preparedness materials at no cost to the school, including instructor guides, copies of handouts and starter emergency supply kits for each student. The application deadline is Nov. 7.

The basic lesson includes one hour of instruction, but teachers have the option of expanding the lessons to include eight hours of material. The STEP curriculum may be taught by teachers, school officials, first responders or volunteers, the state said.

Last year, teachers from 89 schools signed up to participate in the STEP program and taught the curriculum to more than 5,400 students. This year, Michigan officials hope to have at least 8,000 fifth-graders statewide participate in the program.




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