In the 2023-2024 school year, PEARLS is honored to be delivering our sixth year of training, and we look forward to continuing our work with early education professionals throughout Florida. It is important that we work together to understand how we can best educate, prepare, and protect ourselves and those in our care during threatening situations.
The PEARLS team delivers valuable training, provides awareness of potential dangers, and encourages planning for increased safety in schools. In a free, two-hour session, the team teaches your staff about options and how a carefully considered plan of action is essential to protecting themselves and the children in their care.
During a training session, the PEARLS team discusses how to evaluate the school environment to better understand how it can offer protection from danger. The ability to make quick decisions under pressure is crucial to mitigating risk and saving lives. The PEARLS training will help your staff understand actions that could change the outcome of an event. Training and practice familiarize our brains with this topic and knowledge supports the ability to make decisions and act quickly in dangerous situations. PEARLS has received comments from its trainees that firmly support this concept along with the necessity of thinking in a new way about safety in schools. PEARLS uses several tools in the training process—a PowerPoint presentation with a training video; “Miss Collins”, a book to assist in introducing the concepts to the children; and a flip book of valuable emergency information.
An underlying theme throughout the PEARLS training is that communication and collaboration with law enforcement can help avoid or shorten an episode and save lives.
Attacks by an active shooter often are usually fast-paced and often over before law enforcement can arrive at the scene, so it is critical that your staff understand options such as evacuation, lockdown with barricade, and counter to provide essential protection immediately.
LAW ENFORCEMENT SUPPORT
“I believe this program is a tremendously important addition to the Early Childhood community,” says Sgt. Leo Donnelly with the Bradenton Police Department. “The Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County identified a large gap in the safety of our community. These early learning centers have been left on their own in the notification and training of active emergency situations. This need has already been taken care of in the elementary, middle and high schools by the School Board. The PEARLS program not only brings attention to that problem, but also resolves it.”
Lt. Joel B. Perez with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office echoes that sentiment. “The PEARLS concept is something that we are already doing with our local schools,” he said. “It only makes sense to extend this to our preschools and daycare centers. The safety of our children is high priority and being able to get preschools and daycare centers on a safety standard plan is incredible,” says Lt. Perez. “I am sure that all parents who have children in one of these early learning centers would appreciate them taking these extra steps to ensure the safety of their children.”
“Unfortunately, it is no longer “if” we have an event, but “when” we have an event. We can, and will, be able to keep our children safe thanks to the exceptional PEARLS training my staff received. I strongly encourage any center to participate in the PEARLS training. It will prepare your children and your staff to act in the safest way possible to have the best outcome possible, should an incident take place.”
“This class was very informative definitely got us up to par on the changes of the world on how to react to new situations that have been happening. The staff felt very empowered and more confident in the safety of the facility and the children do to this class thank you so much for your time and your energy spent into this program.”
Learn more about the PEARLS Program
If you are interested in having a training at your child care site or have questions, please contact us!
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