Tuesday, June 19, 2007

BPS Kicks-Off Internet Safety Initiative

Boston Public Schools officially launched its internet safety initiative on June 12 at the Boston Latin Academy. While many teachers and schools have already been educating their students and parents throughout the year on internet safety topics, the kick-off event featured an announcement by Microsoft Corporation to help Boston hire high school students to become internet safety mentors. Microsoft is generously donating $25,000 to hire 10 Boston Public Schools students this summer to create internet safety materials to be used to educate children around the community. The event featured remarks from Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Boston Public Schools Superintendent Michael Contompasis, Boston Public Schools Chief Information Officer Kimberly Rice, Boston School Committee Chairperson Dr. Elizabeth Reilinger, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis, Assistant Attorney General Kathleen Healey, Microsoft Corporation Northeast District General Manager Ted Maclean and Boston Latin Academy student Anthony Kret. Anthony has also been hired as one of the Cyber Safety Mentors as a result of the Microsoft donation. Anthony and nine other students will work on internet safety projects throughout the summer. They will also be trained as certified internet safety mentors through the iSAFE program. Next school year, cyber safety mentors will partner with elementary schools to educate students about staying safe online. You can watch a portion of Mayor Menino's speech below.

Along with the announcement from Microsoft, the event marked the launch of the Boston Public Schools internet safety website. The site was designed by Helen Chan, a former Boston Public School student who will also be surpervising the students hired this summer along with former Boston Public School graduate Chhorvy Ly. The site will be available for parents, students and teachers to use as a resource for internet safety education. Materials are available for downloading, including activity pages and posters of the Cyber Super Heroes. Links to other internet safety websites and resources are also included on the site.

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