JulieLivingston-300x300Digital technology offers exciting possibilities in terms of deepening learning and broadening audience reach.

For the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), engaging youth and families through education in the classroom and online is an effective way of teaching them the ins and outs of emergency preparedness.

The federal agency has enlisted in a strategic partnership with educational marketing specialists CarrotNewYork (CNY) to launch Ready Kids, a multi platform initiative which includes classroom learning as well as a website and online gaming.

CNY refreshed the original kids section of FEMA’s website. The company’s Senior Director Julie Livingston spoke with KidsWire on the Ready Kids initiative, highlighting the importance of developing easily accessible educational content and products for kids, parents and educators.

“A major issue we think about is accessibility. Choosing to invest in a product or platform that only a select market has access to, or can afford, is a no-no for us,” Livingston said. “Our goal is to provide educational content in a form that kids, parents, and teachers can widely access, regardless of their abilities, skills, learning approaches or economics.”

When developing the Ready Kids section of FEMA’s Ready.gov website, CNY aimed to make it a place where kids, families and educators can easily go to find information about disasters, how to prepare and how families should stay in touch during and after events.

“FEMA had a website that was geared to kids, parents and educators. But it looked very ‘government’ and was not up to date in terms of assets and offerings,” Livingston said.  “The information was not easily accessible for any audience.”

With CNY’s updated version of FEMA’s kids’ website, “Parents can learn ways to help children of varying ages cope during and after a disaster with information provided by child psychologists,” Livingston continued. “Educators can get engaging, interactive standards-based curriculum that promotes 21st-century skills. And kids can learn through digital play, entering a comic book world where they are faced with a variety of situations and challenges.”

FEMA’s revamped kids’ section can be accessed cross-platform through online games, apps, enhanced e-books as well as smart board technology that is interactive and allows for communal learning and discussion.

When developing educational products, CNY takes a unique approach because it considers the trends in the marketplace and out of the classroom while also focusing on understanding current pedagogical practices. The marketing specialists consider the tower of academic demands placed on teachers in terms of their time, budget, and standards.

With a decade of experience in youth marketing, Livingston is passionate about reaching youth, moms and families. Her background includes work at Scholastic as Director, Corporate Communications; the Toy Industry Association as Senior Director, Public Relations; Child’s Play Communications as Director, Business Development and Accounts; and a boutique public relations agency.

Join her at Digital Kids Edu next week as she presents a case study with FEMA’s Ready Campaign Director, Darryl Madden. The two will expand on how FEMA is engaging youth on emergency preparedness using digital tools.

Register online by tomorrow at 11:00 p.m. PST to save $100: http://www.digitalkidsedu.com/register.


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