Students at Traverse Mountain Elementary devote a week to internet safety.

Traverse Mountain Elementary is having White Ribbon Week to promote internet safety and digital citizenship. This is the third year Traverse Mountain has taken a week during the school year to educate the students about keeping their brains safe.

Shellie VanOrman, a member of the Traverse Mountain PTA, has put together the activities and pamphlets for parents and teachers. VanOrman was the PTA Treasurer three years ago and part of the School Community Council. She suggested the school use the state-mandated funds for digital citizenship to have a White Ribbon Week. Previously internet safety was just a small part of Red Ribbon Week (education on the dangers of drugs and alcohol).

  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a free brochure that each of the students at Traverse Mountain will get this week. The brochure has helpful information about communicating with kids of all ages, what parents can do to teach their children how to be good digital citizens, computer security, and more. (The brochure is available for free at FTC.gov/NetCetera.)

Each day of White Ribbon Week will focus on a positive way to keep students’ brains safe. The kids are encouraged to avoid violent video games, ask their parents before they view a new movie, train their brain to “Tic-Tac-Toe” (Turn it off, Talk to a trusted adult, and Turn to something active and positive when they see something harmful), and swap media time for real life experiences.

“All of the messages and handouts are geared toward getting the message home to Mom and Dad. Internet safety is a conversation that needs to happen often at home,” says VanOrman.

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