FAIR HAVEN – Small Factory Productions recently celebrated the premiere of its “Ready, Set, Prepare Yourself” and “Emergency Experts” cartoons at the New York City Office of Emergency Management’s (OEM) Ready Schools Partners in Preparedness launch event at the Museum of Natural History.
Ready Schools is a project of the OEM’s Ready New York program, which features guides and online resources to help New Yorkers prepare for all types of emergencies. In 2009, OEM and the Department of Education partnered to bring emergency preparedness education to elementary school classrooms, and today the program has grown from two colorful and creative guides to a suite of publications and videos.
In August 2011, OEM contracted Small Factory Productions to create cartoons based on the principles of “Ready Schools” to teach school children about preparing for emergencies. Over the course of two weeks, staff from OEM and Small Factory guided campers at the Police Athletic League’s Beacon Camp at the Goldie Maple Academy in the Rockaways through the production company’s Create-a-Cartoon program. The children in grades 3-5 drew original cartoon characters, created scripts and recorded voice-overs and songs for two cartoons. The cartoons, entitled “Ready, Set, Prepare Yourself” and “Emergency Experts” debuted at OEM’s “Partners in Preparedness” reception on September 26th at the American Museum of Natural History.
“This cartoon, titled ‘Ready, Set, Prepare Yourself’ was created in August 2011 so as Hurricane Irene approached life began to imitate art,” said Joseph H. Bruno, commissioner of The New York City Office of Emergency Management. “Working with young people is one of the most rewarding and effective ways to instill messages and change behavior for the better. OEM is thrilled to have Small Factory’s cartoons to incorporate into our Ready Kids program.”
“Thanks to New York City’s Office of Emergency Management, children from across the five boroughs ad beyond now have a better understanding of how to prepare for emergencies,” said Chris Dudick, president of Small Factory Productions. “Small Factory Productions is honored to be a part of this exciting project and only hopes that in 2012 the cartoons are tools for education that will not have to be put into action.”