The Center for Cyber Safety and Education (the Center), an international nonprofit based in Clearwater, Fla., has announced their 3rd Annual Cyber Safety Day Tampa Bay will take place on January 25, 2022.
“The goal of Cyber Safety Day is to reach as many 3rd grade students as possible by providing our multi-award-winning, Garfield’s Cyber Safety Adventures program,” said Center Director Pat Craven. “This past year has proven that we need to do more to teach children how to be safe and secure online.”
To teach kids how to be safe online, the Center partners with sponsors and donors to deliver Garfield’s Cyber Safety Adventures lesson to select elementary schools each school year. This one-day event ensures public elementary school students receive vital skills to become responsible digital citizens with the help of Garfield and friends.
“The past year and a half has been challenging with the shift from the traditional classroom to the virtual classrooms. We have to place an emphasis on digital citizenship and safety due to the online presence of our students. We want them to be safe in the virtual world and use technology responsibly,” said a registered Cyber Safety Day teacher. “We have run into increased situations in which students did not understand the position they have placed themselves in by their interactions on the internet. This has led to conversations with parents and the community. I believe in proactive and preventative measures to support all students.”
88.9 percent of Tampa Bay educators say they do not currently have an internet safety program in place, according to an August 2021 survey by the Center. As a result, Cyber Safety Day Tampa Bay is scheduled for January 25, in recognition of Data Privacy Day. In the past, the initiative reached over 10,500 local students at 100 elementary schools in just one day. The Center is experiencing a post-virtual classroom surge of school registrations. Nearly 50 Tampa Bay schools have already registered for the January event. To meet the program demand by local educators, sponsorships and donations from individuals, corporations and nonprofits are crucial to the success of the community giveback initiative.
The Center’s mission to educate kids is particularly poignant when you understand that 53 percent of children in the United States have a smartphone by 11 years old. Moreover, according to the Center’s research, 40 percent of elementary-age children connected with an online stranger. Of that 40 percent, 11 percent met a stranger in their own home, at the stranger’s home or a park, mall or restaurant.
Selected schools will receive FREE award-winning Garfield’s Cyber Safety Adventures classroom education program. Each Cyber Safety Day Kit includes a Garfield cartoon, comic books with activity pages, stickers, trading cards, pledge stickers, Garfield classroom Poster, parent letters and teacher lesson plans for 30 children.
For more information about participating in the Center’s Cyber Safety Days as a school or corporate sponsor, visit the Cyber Safety Day webpage or contact Christina Johnson, Philanthropy Relationship Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org.