Susan McDaniel Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Are your children safe on the Internet? In this day and age everyone knows students can explore the marvels of the world and travel to the most intelligent realms of our galaxy on the Internet. But many do not know that if students are not aware, they can become entrapped in the darkest most - detestable realms of the human imagination. Concerned people now realize awareness and true safety online is not found in software filters it is found in education and community support. Sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line and Bear Paw Technologies, an iSAFE internet safety course will be offered today at 6:30 p.m. at the club, located at 500 First Ave. In Havre. There will be a general discussion of internet safety for children after a short video presentation. A panel including Dennis Parman, assistant superintendent of Havre Public Schools, and Debbie Rhines from Bear Paw Technologies will be available to answer questions. Some topics of concern to parents may be how to elude online predators, identity theft, cyber bullying, and protecting intellectual property, such as illegal music downloading. “Parents should not be intimidated by the internet, they should learn about it with their children to make it fun and safe,” tobacco prevention specialist Paula Beilke said. Free dinner and childcare will be provided to participants. A questionnaire will be distributed to participants and any completed questionnaires will be entered into a drawing for a digital camera to be given away that evening. Designed for parents and other caregivers, iSAFE is a nationwide movement of students, parents, educators and public officials designed to inform parents about the dangers their kids face online and offer tips to help protect them. Children from strong families have the best opportunities for success. ISAFE recognizes that a digital divide exists between parents and their children when it comes to the use of technology. In most cases, the kids know more about the Internet and new technology than their parents. “I believe that parents need to know and understand what kinds of information their children are putting out there and that it is available worldwide,” Rhines said. “Parents tend to be technologically insecure. Information will help them feel more comfortable with using the internet.” If a parent is interested in starting a parents support group, information is available through the iPARENT campaign. Contact Beilke or visit the iSAFE web site at http://www.isafe.org. The Web site offers information about how to establish an iPARENT group and contains ordering information for a copy of the iPARENT cd and toolkit which provides an outline and helpful resources to get you started. The iPARENT program was designed to help parents team up and bridge the “Digital Divide” that separates them and their children. ISAFE is a nonprofit foundation whose mission is to educate and empower youth To make their internet experiences safe and responsible. The goal is to educate students on how to avoid dangerous, inappropriate, or unlawful online behavior. ISAFE accomplishes this through dynamic K-12 curriculum and community outreach programs to parents, law enforcement, and community leaders. The internet safety course is the first of a number of presentations to be offered this year through a Family P.L.U.S. grant received by the Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line from the Kimberly- Clark Foundation last November for the 2007 calendar year. Monthly activities will be held throughout the year, all dealing with family topics. Other program topics under discussion are suicide, healthy relationships and tax preparation. The K-C Foundation was established in 1952 to carry out a philosophy of charitable giving, which is based on a promise to be a good employer, a good neighbor, and to support causes that strengthen the world’s families. During the past two years, K-C and their employees contributed approximately $52 million for charitable causes worldwide. As part of that amount, the K-C Foundation matched almost $2.8 million in employee giving, and awarded almost $2.4 million in grants to charities where their employees and employee spouses volunteered over 142,000 hours of their time, in addition to donating more than $4.5 million worth of KC products, mostly for disaster relief. For further information about the presentation, call Paula Beilke at 265-6206, ext. 319.