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Agawam Public Library to offer ALICE training program kit for kids in December

Date: 11/20/2018

AGAWAM – The Agawam Family and Community Program in conjunction with the Agawam Public Library are ensuring that children are prepared for the worst, and educated in the case of a scary scenario.

Beginning in December, the Agawam Public Library will offer a kit that introduces youth to ALICE training. ALICE training helps teachers and students understand best practices in the case that they encounter an active shooter in their school. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.

The kit at the Agawam Public Library will include a workbook, letter from the superintendent of Agawam Public Schools and a copy of the book “I’m Not Scared…I’m Prepared! Because I Know All About ALICE Training Institute” by Julia Cook. The book is geared toward children in early elementary school. The book includes cartoons about what the ALICE drill looks like and its objective.

Michelle Connery, Grant Coordinator for the Agawam Family & Community Program, stressed the importance of educating youth on the potential for the dangers of an active shooter situation. “This is a fantastic life skill because the procedure is not just applicable in schools, but everywhere in society. I think we are helping to create more awareness in kids. It’s a sad reality that this is how it is right now, but it’s about empowering people rather than hiding and remaining in an unsafe location.”

The ALICE training program takes a different approach than “shelter in place.” “When you go through the ALICE drill, it teaches you that escaping isn’t the only option. There’s other tools to do that. When you look at the news, it’s empowering to see how many people have stepped up.”

As of current, the Agawam Public Library has prepared a single kit and will have one copy of the book, but Connery shared that the library would create more if the demand were there. Connery is confident that the ALICE training kit will start an important conversation at home. “The ALICE drills were put in place in Agawam schools last year. It can be confusing for parents and students to hear something different. It’s different from what they are used to. More information is better. It helps parents answer questions.”

The kit will be available to check out of the Agawam Public Library starting in December. For more information, please contact Pamela Weingart, Youth Services Librarian, at 789-1550 or stop by the Agawam Public Library during regular hours.