White Ribbon Week gives elementary students strategies to navigate the digital world

Nicole Kunze | Lehi Free Press

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Elementary schools in Utah are required to use some of the Trustlands funds they receive each year to teach Digital Citizenship. In March, Lehi Elementary will use a $500 grant from the Utah Coalition Against Pornography for White Ribbon Week, a program that teaches elementary students how to be good citizens online.

The Utah Coalition Against Pornography (UCAP) board is a group of prominent men and women from a variety of religions and professional backgrounds who share the belief that pornography has harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities. Included with the $500 for White Ribbon Week, UCAP provides materials to teach kids healthy choices in media and technology. Each day of White Ribbon Week focuses on an element of digital citizenship;

Monday – “I have the power to not view embarrassing pictures or share hurtful words.” Students will learn how to show empathy online and in real life.

Tuesday – “I have the power to turn it off.” Children who are confronted with images that make them feel confused often freeze up and forget that they can turn it off.

Wednesday – “I have the power to tell a trusted adult if something doesn’t feel right.” Part of White Ribbon Week is teaching parents to be a trusted adult and remain calm when dealing with tough subjects.

Thursday – “I have the power to ask before I download.” Why? Because not everything is what it appears to be.

Friday – “I have the power to help my friends make safe choices online.” Elementary students learn how their choices influence others.

“It’s a rough world – the kids you think are fine are not fine,” said Harmony Hatch, a proactive parent who wanted to help. “Our kids need to be able to talk to us. The more we talk about what they’re seeing online, the less awkward it is.” Hatch applied for and got the UCAP grant for Lehi Elementary to have White Ribbon Week. “We can make our houses a safe place where the wi-fi is controlled and we can educate them. Ultimately they’re going to choose how or if they participate in social media and online in general.”

In a recent study conducted by the Barna Group, a research organization focused on the intersection of faith and culture, teens and young adults ranked not recycling more immoral than viewing pornography. According to the UCAP website, “To be ready to respond, children and teens need to know what pornography is, why it is harmful, and what they should do if they see it.”

The annual UCAP conference, one of the largest anti-pornography conferences in the world, is on Saturday, February 23, at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Keynote speakers this year include Dayton Moore, the General Manager of the Kansas City Royals, and Spencer J. Cox, Utah Lieutenant Governor. To register, go to https://utahcoalition.org.

Grants still available for White Ribbon Week

The Utah Coalition Against Pornography (UCAP) has three $500 grants left for the 2018-2019 school year to provide White Ribbon Week materials to elementary schools. During White Ribbon Week, children are taught to be good citizens online and what to do when they encounter harmful content online. Go to https://utahcoalition.org/powergrant/ to apply for the remaining grants for your child’s school.

White Ribbon Week Grant Application Requirements:

  • Elementary school name, address, principal and principal contact information
  • Name and contact information of Program Organization (who is going to be organizing and running the program on campus)
  • Number of classrooms on campus that will need materials
  • Number of students on campus that will need materials
  • Proposed dates program is to be held – these can change if needed
  • Basic program outline and budget

Applicants for the UCAP Digital Citizenship Grant must be within the state of Utah and complete the White Ribbon Week program “I’ve Got the Power!” within the 2018-2019 school year.

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