The Hero in You!

Amy Weisberg, M.Ed.By Amy Weisberg, M.Ed.      August 21, 2020

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The Hero in You!
Holmes Elementary students hold up their copies of Rocket’s Wildfire Safety Activity book. With the help of first responders, Officer Rodriguez and his partner, they’ll become one of Rocket’s “Wildfire Safety Experts. Photos courtesy of The Hero in You foundation”
In 2014, when Bunni and  Rick Benaron decided they wanted to do something to give back to the community, they decided to create the foundation, The Hero in You, a California 501 (c)3 non-profit. According to their website, the Foundation began by honoring first responders, dedicating six-foot-tall Dalmatian puppy sculptures to cities, fire stations, parks, museums and libraries. The mascot, Rocket the dog, delivers the instructions, Rocket Rules, designed to provide an early education program that teaches safety and emergency preparedness. This engaging, age-appropriate program helps kids learn life-saving and split-second decision-making skills.  Bunni grew up locally in the Valley attending Sunnybrae Elementary School in Canoga Park and Canoga Park High School. She had been a teacher early in her career and though they do not have children of their own, Bunni and Rick value education. Realizing statues alone couldn’t teach children, they worked together with the Los Angeles Emergency Management to create the program. The Foundation is in partnership with CAL FIRE and Aspen Fire and have valued partnerships with the LAPD and Los Angeles Unified School District School Police. Their website offers a curriculum for teachers to accompany their activity books and short videos to add to the curriculum content. Prior to COVID, The Hero in You, Foundation was working to engage with the community and created a new series, The Sense of Safety,/i>, focusing on teaching children to use their five senses to stay safe and their sixth sense to stay in touch with their feelings in order to assess danger. 
The Hero in You foundation mascot, Rocket, the dog, takes a photo op with some new friends at the California Science Center.
The Foundation has added pages to address COVID safety with coloring pages about wearing masks, and social distancing and pages addressing healthy habits. They continue to work on curriculum development and are creating a partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District to assess community needs and to align curriculum.

As Rocket plants the seeds of safety in the minds of young children, grown-ups are jumping on board with Superintendent Austin Beutner and Dodger Justin Turner making short videos with Rocket!

Topanga Elementary Charter School students will be the lucky recipients of Rocket’s Wildfire Safety Activity books, with teachers being able to provide curriculum to help teach our youngest students how they can help develop fire safety plans-just in time for fire season.
Amy Weisberg, M.Ed.

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August 21, 2020

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