Cossitt School Fourth Graders Learn About Extreme Weather in Electrifying Unit


This spring, fourth graders at Cossitt School in La Grange spent the month of April studying extreme weather as their way of Celebrating Cossitt Curriculum (CCC).  Inside the classroom, the students had the chance to learn about the science and origin of extreme weather occurrences, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards.  Moreover, the students studied significant storms throughout history and how communities recovered from the severe impact of these storms.  Outside of the classroom, the fourth graders had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Science and Industry, to view the “Science Storms” exhibit, as well as Skype with meteorology professor Jeff Frame, Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

The culminating event took place on April 21st, when FEMA representative George Mosho recounted his experiences working the aftermath of several different disasters, including Hurricane Katrina.  Firefighter Dan Colantuono of the Franklin Park Fire Department and registered nurse Christina Gangas directed a large number of parent volunteers in running a triage station, where students simulated real life triage scenarios in a natural disaster.  Former Cossitt School teacher Vicki Abbinante contributed heavily to the planning and aided the students in family communication and home safety planning.  Parent volunteers also guided the students through a station of supply sorting and planning. Kym Iffert of the Hinsdale Humane Society discussed pet preparedness in the event of a natural disaster as well.

Outside of school hours, the students raised money for the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs.  Through creative means, such as bake sales, household work, and other methods of community involvement, the students raised $1,476.42 in just two short weeks.