NetSmartzKids and Harris County Sheriff’s Office team up to teach students how to stay safe online and off

Clicky and the NetSmartzKids Team spent the day recently at Bonner Elementary School teaching students the importance of staying safe both online and in person. Clicky is the Internet safety spokesrobot who leads a cast of characters at NetSmartzKids.org, where children ages 5 to 10 learn about Internet safety through activities, cartoons, games, and music.

“We timed our visit for just before the holidays,” said Andrea Sparks, executive director of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, which sponsored the event. “The two-week break from school is a time when many children are left unsupervised at home.”

Clicky spent the morning with the younger students, showing them educational videos, talking to them about Cyber Safety, and handing out pencils and coloring books. He was a huge hit with the students, who couldn’t quite believe he was there in person.

After lunch, Officer Kevin Ellis from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office spoke with fourth- and fifth-graders about staying safe. He told them not to answer the door when they are home alone and when to call 911. Finally, he assigned them homework.

“Go home tonight and memorize your address and at least two cell phone numbers of trusted adults,” Officer Ellis said. “It’s not good enough just to have them in your cell phone.”

The older children also watched a video about the dangers of developing relationships online with strangers who may try to meet them in person. NSTeens.org has safety tips, games, and videos for tweens ages 8 to 12.

The HISD website has extensive resources on Cyber Safety as well, including information on cyber bullying, sexting, digital citzenship, and social media 101.

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