Hannan Academy fifth-graders win Ready Georgia emergency preparedness video contest for second straight year

mrice@ledger-enquirer.comOctober 31, 2013 

For the second straight year, Hannan Academy's fifth-graders produced the winning video in the Ready Georgia emergency preparedness contest.

The common factor in the two groups is Hannan technology teacher Shannon Hustick. Fifth-grader Kyra Cooper explained that Hustick strikes the uncommon balance between pushing them to excel and cushioning their falls.

"She'll give you advice," Kyra said, "but she says it's OK to mess up."

Their video was selected the winner among five entries in their category. The contest attracted a total of 72 entries, which also includes art and essay categories. This year's theme was "Don't Be Scared, Be Prepared." Students in grades 3-5 are eligible.

Along with Kyra, this year's winning team members are Hannan fifth-graders Sumerlyn Dawson, Niyah Norman, Keyona Parker, Tyrik Ricks, A'Janae Royal, William Slater, Jacob Thomas and Donovan Wright. The winners receive passes for a day trip to the World of Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta.

In September, the students started brainstorming ideas for the video.

"At first, we were going to do a haunted house theme," Niyah said, "but then we came up with a cheesy game show theme because it was really fun."

And effective.

"The students in Ms. Hustick's class at Hannan Academy creatively showed their detailed knowledge of emergency preparedness in their fun and unique game show-themed video," said Lisa Janak-Newman, public information officer for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and a Ready Georgia Kids Contest judge. "They also demonstrated the importance of Ready Georgia's preparedness message: 'Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Stay Informed.'"

The students met once per week after school to produce the video, which runs for 4 minutes and 49 seconds.

"It's a mixture of funny and all of the things like storms and everything that you need to learn," Keyona said.

"We just wanted to show kids that it's easy to be safe and have fun," Sumerlyn said.

Making the video motivated A'Janae and her family to be ready for emergencies.

"My mom, she made a ready kit," A'Janae said. "She told me Georgia can have a lot of natural disasters, so we should be prepared."

The Hannan fifth-graders were dedicated to making success in the contest a winning tradition at the school.

"We wanted to kind of keep the train going on," Jacob said.

"I wanted to live up to that legacy, but I didn't know if we could do it," Donovan said. "It seemed like they were a lot more superior, but then, when we tried our best, we did it."

Hannan principal Lisa Whitaker praised Hustick for bringing the best out of her students.

"She is extremely innovative," Whitaker said. "There's nothing she'll say no to. She thinks outside the box. If there's something that can benefit our children, she goes for it. She is a natural leaders and develops that leadership in her children."

Hustick, in her 14th year as a teacher, is a 1992 Shaw High School graduate. She called the students "superior actors. There's a bunch of go-getters in here."

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

WATCH HANNAN'S NEWS BROADCAST

The Hannan Academy fifth-graders who produced the award-winning emergency preparedness video also produce a news broadcast from the school's studio, WHKL (What Hannan Kids Learn). Charter TV subscribers can see the broadcast live on Channel 95 at 8 a.m. each school day.

ABOUT READY GEORGIA

Ready Georgia is a statewide campaign designed to educate and empower Georgians to prepare for and respond to natural disasters, pandemic outbreaks, terrorist attacks and other large-scale emergencies. The campaign is a project of Georgia Emergency Management Agency and is the state version of Ready America. Ready Georgia aims to prepare residents for maintaining self-sufficiency for at least 72 hours following an emergency. For more information, see www.ready.ga.gov.

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