Local News

Life-Saving Lessons More Than Child's Play

Posted September 4, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— "Do you know where hurricanes start?" asks a pre-school teacher to her students. "...out in the ocean, and that's where we'd like them to stay."

Unfortunately, they don't all stay out in the ocean. The four year olds at Babes and Kids Creative Center learned that frightening lesson one year ago. The problem is the whole experience is still very scary for many kids. And talk of the one year anniversary just brings it all up again. That's where the Resource Development Team comes in.

The private, non-profit organization visits schools and daycare centers. The instructors use everyday items to teach kids about storms.

"You can almost see the bottom of the bucket," points out the teacher. "That's like the eye of the hurricane. It's very calm in the center of the hurricane.

The young minds are fixed on a gallon of colored water in a bucket. Suddenly, they've learned a life-saving lesson. They eye of the hurricane doesn't mean the end of the storm.

The hurricane didn't just hit home for these kids. Trees fell and knocked out the playground at Babes and Kids, but the little hurricane watchers say they learned something from what they went through.

When asked what kind of stuff trees do when the fall down, Hunter Gavis replied, "they died." Hunter recalls the trees ripping up the yard a little bit. But now, he says, it's okay.

Little Anne Wood learned an important lesson about what to do in a storm. She says it's best to run home and go to bed.

Learning about it and talking about it makes a past storm or even a future hurricane easier to take, even for the smallest of storm watchers.