Project Tornado brings life saving information into classrooms across Central Texas. Over the past two decades, I've had the opportunity and pleasure to present this program to literally tens of thousands of children from kindergarten to high school.
From my early days in broadcasting, I realized that being on television nightly gave me a special familiarity that motivated youngsters to pay close attention to my presentation. This allows me to show them the importance of making a weather safety plan and in turn, each child is encouraged to take my Project Tornado safety booklet home and share this information with their families.
Over my many years at News 10, requests for the program have been tremendous in number. It’s success has presented some challenges, however. The program has become so popular that it’s become physically impossible for me to travel to all the classrooms asking for a Project Tornado presentation.
In October of 2007, a great solution materialized! We were offered the opportunity to partner with Region 12 Education Service Center in an exciting new format involving high tech video conferencing. This essentially allows us to expand our instructional program to school districts on the very outskirts of our large viewing area. This technology places live cameras and television monitors in the classrooms and gives us a “live link-up” to even more school children on a one-on-one basis!
Through Region 12’s nationwide network with other school districts and their internet promotion of the program, “Project Tornado” has even been requested by schools as far away as Michigan! Furthermore, plans are already underway to “link-up” with schools in Canada – making our outreach “global” in scope!
The opportunities appear limitless for Project Tornado as new technologies evolve. News 10 will be on the cutting edge of cyber technology as we find new ways to take the life saving message of Project Tornado to school children wherever they may be, one classroom at a time!