My game plan

All Things Considered column by Gail Krawetz

            Internet and technology safety was the focus of numerous presentations at the Preeceville School. Students from kindergarten to Grade 12 were divided into age-related classroom groups with the intention to educate students hosted on April 21.

            The Kindergaten to Grade 4 presentation complimented everything in the Grade 5 to 12 presentations, as it focused on laying the groundwork for the younger ones coming up to start thinking about these things as young as kindergarten.

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            The presentation consists of reading some books from the “Kids in the Know” kit with puppets. Kids in the Know is presented by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection's national safety education program. The program engages students with interactive activities to help build skills that increase their personal safety and reduce their risk of victimization online and in the real world. We also speak about the internet briefly, friends, keep and speak secrets, intuition and we have a lot of fun.

            The older presentation featured the Internet safety presentations offered to youth from grades 5 - 12 which covers a variety of topics above and beyond how to stay safe on the Internet. The presentation was infused with a variety of information within the 2 ½ hour presentations that include; healthy friendships/ relationships, self-esteem, child predators, communication skills, listening to our instincts, what is a trusted adult and who we can turn to in times of concern, resources for kids such as, positive communication skills, the negative effects of the ,'selfie-generation", cyber bullying, the safe use of social media (privacy settings) and  digital citizenship.

            There was also a parent evening held at the Preeceville Legion Hall. The parent night idea was to bridge the gap between kids and their parents. To help the parents understand the technological world their children are living in. Parents from Preeceville, Aturgis, and Norquay were invited.

            Val Caldwell  presenter has been providing presentations on the topic of safety around the use of technology for 6 years. Her personal and professional passion is to provide current and relevant tools and information to children and adults to help them use their various forms and technology and Social Media as safely as possible.

            Val has spoken to well over 5,000 children in grades 5-12 throughout Manitoba and Saskatchewan as well as countless parents, caregivers, and professionals. Val would like to see the information she provides infused in the school curriculum to help ensure that children are provided as many tools as possible from a young age, to help them remain safe in the vast world of technology.