Did you know that 93% of American teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 are regular Internet users (Pew Internet and American Life Project)? Unfortunately, along with the increase in teen Internet usage has come an increased risk of online predators. Parents can learn more about keeping their children safe at a free community forum entitled “Technology 101: Protecting Your Children Online.” The event, which is being presented by Project Click SafeTM will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 22 at the Richland High School Auditorium (Richland Performing Arts Center).
The forum will teach parents how to protect children from becoming victims of Internet crime. In addition to addressing the inherent dangers in the anonymity that the Internet provides, the program will also examine Internet “lingo,” software that can be used to protect children, chatrooms, instant messaging, online resources to help keep children safe, and how to talk to children about the dangers.
Featured speakers for the event are Scott Miller, director of technology, Richland School District, and Robert Eckenrod, UPJ director of user services.
“The dangers to our children are very real, and the latest statistics are alarming. With summer vacations quickly approaching, children are going to be spending an increasing amount of time online – interacting in chat rooms, posting information on their MySpace pages, and instant messaging. Parents need to know about these technologies and the dangers that are associated with them, and that’s what we’ll be discussing at our Community Forum,” said Jeanne Susko, UPJ senior coordinator outreach programs and Project ClickSafeTM co-coordinator.
Project Click Safe is a consortium created by the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, four local school districts (Ferndale Area, Richland, Westmont Hilltop, and Windber Area), the City of Johnstown Police Department, Richland Township Police Department, and the Office of Attorney General Tom Corbett. The goal of Project Click SafeTM is to provide technology awareness, education, and resources to minimize the dangers of technology use for our children.
For additional information, contact UPJ’s Outreach Office at 814-269-2099. For more information on the project, visit www.projectclicksafe.com.
Founded in 1927, UPJ is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. A vital knowledge center and a foremost contributor to the area’s educational, social, cultural, and economic environment, UPJ offers a high quality educational experience that is purposefully designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century.