Boys & Girls Clubs and Sprint’s Internet Safety Campaign
promotes online safety for youth
The month of June is aptly reserved for Internet Safety Month, and the topic couldn’t be timelier. The days of summer provide idle time for many youth, with the Internet being among the most popular outlets for entertainment. Recent statistics regarding internet usage are mind boggling. 95% of teens are online, with 80% of them being users of social media. 51% report giving personal information online to strangers and 33% report being victims of cyber bullying. Further shocking, more than 5 million users of social media sites are under the age of 10. Perhaps most troubling of all is that only 7% of parents report being concerned about it. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Sprint have launched an interactive campaign aimed to raise cyber safety awareness among parents and guardians. “Cyber Safe Futures” will focus on key issues including cyber bullying, social networking, online privacy and mobile safety. The free program materials can be found online at www.cybersafefutures.org and are designed to get parents and children talking.
Teaching kids to be safe online is a top priority of The Boys & Girls Clubs of Indian River County, not just during Internet Safety Month, but each and every time club members turn on their computers. In addition to Cyber Safe Futures, they use the NetSmartz interactive web program to teach children about online safety. Upon entry to the site youth are greeted by Clicky the Robot, the official host and personality of all things NetSmartz. Clicky and his friends lead kids through the site with games, songs, and activities, all while teaching the importance of being safe online. Parents can log in to the site for guidance on how to talk to their children about online issues, and can download materials and talking points appropriate for all age groups. The NetSmartz and NetSmartz Kids programs are taught year round at each club facility, and Education and Tech Lab Directors are present to work with children one on one while they are searching the Internet, doing homework, or playing games. NetSmartzKids is designed for children twelve and under, while NetSmartz is appropriate for teens and parents. To visit the sites and bring their lessons home, visit www.netsmartzkids.org or www.netsmartz.org.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Indian River County, a United Way and Children's Services Advisory Committee agency, provides quality programs that develop citizenship, leadership, and character in kids ages 6-18 at three Clubhouse locations in Indian River County: one each in Vero Beach, Sebastian, and Fellsmere. Our Mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us the most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. For more information, or to make a donation, please call (772) 299-7449, email email@example.com, or visit us online at www.BGCIRC.org.