February proved that caring and generous companies are committed to keeping young children safe online. The ‘Garfield the Matchmaker’ initiative, a February trio celebration of Valentine’s Day, Safer Internet Day, and Digital Learning Day lead to 1,447 elementary students receiving cyber safety lessons.
“As a parent, grandparent and cybersecurity professional myself, I understand the importance of educating both children and parents about online safety. The Garfield the Matchmaker program allowed us to directly support teachers who want to take action,” Jaimae Lacey, President of E&J Mercantile.
Elementary schools across the United States registered for an opportunity to receive free Garfield’s Cyber Safety Adventures program by sharing their story of online challenges.
“With technology changing all of the time, we need to up our game in providing real life examples to students so that they can relate to what we are teaching them. I believe that Garfield’s program definitely helps relate these concepts of good netiquette to our younger students,” said an elementary school teacher in Nebraska.
Such stories compelled companies nationwide like E&J Mercantile and CapSpecialty to donate to the cause. Once the matchmaking process was completed in March, select schools received award-winning, Garfield’s Cyber Safety Adventures Educator Kits for free in April.
“It’s imperative that society as a whole, starts investing in teaching children how to be safe and secure online. Our plan is to double the number of schools and companies involved in this initiative each year,” said Pat Craven, director of the Center.
A total of 1,447 students received free cyber safety materials covering topics such as privacy, safe posting and cyberbullying. Due to its success, the Center will implement this program all-year-around under its “Adopt-A-School” initiative.