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Blue Ribbon Foundation Funds Emergency Preparedness Education

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By: Anthony Matrisciano
February 1, 2012

Five hundred students in the Poconos will participate in American Red Cross school-based workshops.

Wilkes-Barre, PA — This spring, more than 500 fourth and fifth graders in East Stroudsburg area elementary schools will benefit from school-based safety workshops thanks to The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s recent $6,488.00 grant to the American Red Cross of the Poconos.

“Of increasing concern to Pocono communities is the growing number of youth left home alone as parents commute long hours to and from work,” said Jim Reinhardt, executive director, American Red Cross of the Poconos.  A recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the Pocono region has the longest commute time in the country, with many residents traveling more than an hour to get to work.

The school-based emergency preparedness workshops are designed to educate youngsters who may be home alone on what to do in emergency situations and to arm them with information to help prevent emergencies from occurring.

The 90-minute sessions will provide age-appropriate information and hands-on training on topics such as being home alone, first aid/pet first aid, home fires, lightning and thunderstorms, flooding, and how and when to contact the County’s 9-1-1 Center.

In the coming months, workshops will be conducted at Bushkill Elementary, East Stroudsburg Elementary, JM Hill Elementary, Middle Smithfield Elementary, Resica Elementary, Smithfield Elementary and Notre Dame Elementary.

"Giving kids the information and confidence they need to react appropriately in an emergency is so important, especially in communities where many children spend their after-school hours home alone," said Cynthia A. Yevich, executive director of The Blue Ribbon Foundation. "We are very pleased to be able to help the American Red Cross deliver this program in the Poconos."

About The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.  It offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to approximately 600,000 individuals in 13 counties in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania.  The company’s mission is to provide integrated health care services and products to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of health care in the populations it serves.

Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania established its private, non-profit Blue Ribbon Foundation in 2002 to invest in health education and prevention initiatives that produce measurable health improvements and help manage long term health costs for the residents of northeastern and north central Pennsylvania.