Springfield Plains takes safety STEPs

As part of the Clarkston Community Schools’ Safety Week, Springfield Plains Elementary Principal Matt Gifford spends time in the classroom talking about steps students can take with their families to stay safe at home. Photo provided

BY MATT MACKINDER
Clarkston News Staff Writer

Principal Matt Gifford took a turn teaching fifth graders during Safety Week at Springfield Plains Elementary School.
“The lesson provides general knowledge about disasters common to our area and strategies for how students can protect themselves and their families,” Gifford said. “It also teaches students how to create a family emergency communication plan and furthermore teaches students how to assemble disaster supply kits with their families.”
They used the STEP program, Student Tools for Emergency Planning, which was developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to educate fifth graders on how to prepare and deal with emergencies.
The lesson leaves students more knowledgeable, capable, and prepared in a disaster, and also empowers them to help their families be better prepared, Gifford said.
“They were very receptive,” he said. “They were engaged with the learning and conversation that took place. Also, having their principal instruct the lesson likely changed up the routine for the students.”
At the time of interview, Gifford had not received feedback from parents or students.
He also signed the fifth graders up to receive the free learning opportunity after receiving an email from the Michigan State Police in the fall.