Press Release



Students and staff at the Hector Fontanez School receive 2022 ‘Ready School of the Year’ award

May 19, 2022 — Students and staff were honored during NYC Emergency Management’s “Ready School of the Year” award ceremony, presented to P.S. 103, the Hector Fontanez School in the Bronx on Wednesday, May 18. Throughout the year, students at P.S. 103 participated in emergency preparedness and fire safety presentations, providing them with information and resources that not only assist in their individual preparedness, but can help equip their families for an emergency.

Each year, NYC Emergency Management and the NYC Department of Education present the “Ready School of the Year” award to a school that demonstrates an outstanding commitment to emergency preparedness. New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol and Department of Education Senior Advisor to the Chancellor Camille Varlack attended the event to deliver remarks at the ceremony.

“The students and staff at the Hector Fontanez School epitomize the mission behind New York City Emergency Management’s Ready New York program,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol. “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought along a lot of unforeseen challenges, but these students were able to use lessons learned to not only become more prepared individuals, but also provide support to their greater communities. We are proud to honor P.S. 103 with the 2022 ‘Ready School of the Year’ award.”

“The students and staff at P.S. 103, The Hector Fontanez School, are so grateful for being able to partner with NYC Emergency Management during this school year. We are beyond excited to have been honored as the NYC Emergency Management's Ready School of the Year. Students and staff loved seeing Ready Girl and came away from this Ready School of the Year event with knowledge, pride, and satisfaction that in case of emergency we are all better prepared," said Dean Glaser and Farid Reyes, principal of the Hector Fontanez School.

Staff at P.S. 103 worked with NYC Emergency Management to integrate emergency preparedness lessons into the classroom, providing students with a range of learning opportunities and emphasizing the importance of emergency preparedness in school and at home. Ready Girl, the City’s emergency preparedness superhero, taught students how to prepare for various emergencies, including floods, hurricanes, and blizzards. Students also learned how to write an emergency plan, pack a Go Bag, and gather emergency supplies. During the year, the school also partners with FDNY to help educate students on fire safety.

This year marks the 13th anniversary of the Ready New York School of the Year award. During the award presentation, students performed emergency preparedness-themed songs, poems, skits, and presentations. They also had the opportunity to tour NYC Emergency Management’s Incident Command Center (ICC) response vehicle. In addition, Bronx-based New York City Community Emergency Response Team (NYC CERT) volunteers were on hand to assist with student tours. 

About Ready Schools and the Ready New York for Kids program

In 2007, NYC Emergency Management and the Department of Education launched the Ready New York for Kids preparedness program by distributing 1.1 million Ready New York for Kids guides to the City’s public-school students along with classroom handouts for teachers. In 2009, the agencies started a pilot program in one Brooklyn school district, holding events at 14 schools and educating over 2,400 students over four months before going citywide by the end of the year. Since then, the Ready New York program has been conducting hundreds of events in schools throughout the five boroughs.

About Ready Girl

Ready Girl is a superhero and emergency manager who teaches kids about emergency preparedness. She is part of the Ready New York for Kids’ program, a joint initiative between NYC Emergency Management and the Department of Education that is dedicated to helping educate young students about the importance of emergency preparedness. Since she burst onto the superhero scene in October 2015, Ready Girl has taken her message all over New York City, visiting hundreds of schools, community centers and youth organizations, and dropping in on local fairs. She has trained thousands of kids throughout the five boroughs, getting every New York City kid ready for any emergency. Visit to learn more about the Ready New York program.


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