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California Watch publishes and distributes “Ready to Rumble” coloring and activity book to help prepare kids ages 5 to 10 for an earthquake

Book is available in English, Spanish, traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese and Vietnamese as part of “On Shaky Ground,” California Watch’s 19-month investigation into seismic safety at public schools in California. The book is available for free from California Watch.

Berkeley, CA – April 7, 2011 – California Watch has published and will immediately begin distributing “Ready to Rumble,” a coloring and activity book to help kids prepare for an earthquake. The book marks the debut of California Watch’s mascot, a watchdog named Sunny, who was created to help explain complicated issues to kids. The book is being published in conjunction with “On Shaky Ground,” a 19-month investigation into the seismic safety at K-12 public schools in California.

 “We wanted to provide parents and caregivers with a tool to help them talk to their kids about what to do in the event of an earthquake,” said Ashley Alvarado, public engagement manager at California Watch. “As we began to tell schools, community groups and parents about the book, pre-orders came rolling in; close to 30,000 copies have been pre-ordered.”

KQED public radio, Inkworks Press, Patch and the Public Insight Network are helping to underwrite the book. Community outreach events for families to learn about earthquake safety are planned throughout the state with local chapters of the American Red Cross and Head Start.  A full list of community events is available at californiawatch.org/connect.

“On Shaky Ground” reveals that the Division of the State Architect approved at least 20,000 school buildings in California, even though they lacked the final safety certification required by law. The series also includes a searchable database and interactive map to locate individual schools and potential hazards, rich video content, an iPhone app and resources for taking action. The series debuts at californiawatch.org/earthquakes at 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, and continues with an unprecedented number of distribution partners in broadcast, print, radio and online through Monday, April 11.
About California Watch and the Center for Investigative Reporting

California Watch, the largest investigative journalism team in the state, was launched in 2009 by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting. Areas of coverage include education, health and welfare, public safety, the environment and the influence of money on the political and regulatory process. California Watch receives funding from The James Irvine Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the California Endowment. California Watch received a National Headliner Award in 2011 for “Best Online Only Journalism Site.” In 2010, California Watch was awarded a general excellence award from the Online News Association, and its staff also was named “Journalists of the Year” by the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The Center for Investigative Reporting is the nation's oldest nonprofit investigative news organization. CIR reports have reached the public through television, print, radio and the web, appearing in outlets such as 60 Minutes, PBS Frontline, NPR, The Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Politico and U.S. News & World Report. CIR stories have received numerous journalism awards including the Alfred I. du Pont-Columbia University Silver Baton, George Polk Award, Emmy Award, Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, and a National Magazine Award for Reporting Excellence. More importantly, its reports have sparked congressional hearings and legislation, United Nations resolutions, public interest lawsuits and change in corporate policies. CIR founded California Watch to help create a new model for regional investigative and high-impact reporting.

For more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Marlene Saritzky

Filed under: K–12, Public Safety


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