Garfield the Matchmaker

"Connecting companies and schools for a safer cyber future"

GARFIELD THE MATCHMAKER PROGRAM

Big-dollar budgets are virtually impossible for teachers to acquire. Often, educators find themselves searching Pinterest for the next crafty idea to recycle and repurpose classroom materials. Just think, if teachers are struggling to bring basic resources to the classroom, how are they going to afford internet safety programs for their students?

The Internet is a powerful tool that if used properly, can be very beneficial. Nevertheless, children can find themselves in sticky situations online that can result in cyberbullying, data breaches, identity theft, and fraud to name a few. That’s why cyber safety education NEEDS TO BE at forefront of today’s school curriculums. 

Through our NEW “Garfield the Matchmaker” program, kids ages 6-12 will have the opportunity to receive award-winning cyber safety educational materials for FREE thanks to the generosity of companies looking to support students across the US to build a safer cyber world. This is a unique opportunity for companies committed to make a social change in our society and willing to invest in the future of our children. Being part of “Garfield the Matchmaker” shows the world that you care for your community. 

“In our district, we recently lost a 7th grader that chose suicide as a way to escape from cyberbullying. At the elementary level we are seeing more and more of it now that students are getting their own devices. I just fear that younger students will resort to suicide without a strong cyberbullying education.” 

-Nebraska Elementary in Need

“In reality due to Hurricane Maria our internet has been hacked many times , besides many unknown events that never occurred before.”

-Puerto Rico School in Need

“Staff emails have been hacked. Students use websites on digital citizenship lessons. On those websites some students click on other sites that are not school related.”

-Arizona Elementary in Need

“Kids are using the internet on a daily basis but do not understand the responsibility of using it. We have many young students that play various online games in which they are chatting with strangers. We have also had many instances of cyber bullying and students don’t understand the effects of it. Students also need to understand and learn how to use the internet safely and kindly.“ 

-Florida Elementary in Need

“My children attend Elementary. I am a cyber security officer for the federal government, and I have volunteered to present the digital Garfield lessons to 10 4th, 5th and 6th grade classes. I have learned via other parents and children at the school that they really don’t understand the importance of online safety, or the risks that exist for them.”

-California Elementary in Need

“We are a TK-5th grade campus of 375 students who are using their computers on a daily basis. I have caught students wandering around the internet to games and sites that have ‘popped up’ or that they have seen a link to that made them curious, or listening to music that I can’t monitor, and it is frightening to see how quickly they can get trapped in places that they shouldn’t be. Parents handing over their cell phones the minute they pick them up from school and are not monitoring what the child is doing on it. I am excited to provide more education and tools for both educators and families to use the internet safely!”

-California School in Need

“We have 300 preK-8th grade students using and learning the in and outs of the cyber world. We have used many different digital system training programs, but none as effective as I have found with Garfield. He really gets their attention and drives the message to the younger students.” 

-Illinois Elementary in Need

How it works:

EDUCATORS:

  • To participate in this new initiative, the Center wants to read your schools’* cyber safety story. Has there been an internet safety issue that affected your students? Maybe a cyberbullying incident? Share your story and need for a digital citizenship program in 300 words. 
  • Provide school contact information and number of children.
  • Review our programs and choose what format is best for your students.
  • You have until Feb. 28, Digital Learning Day to sign up. 

*School must be in the U.S. Libraries also welcome to sign up under the same requirements (U.S.)

“The students were engaged and asked many questions. They all had stories of situations they’ve encountered and how this program has provided them with answers on how to handle themselves in the future. They also really liked the camera stickers. What an excellent program for children to learn how to be careful and watchful on the internet.”

-Dr. Lee Binder, Principal of The Gordon School

COMPANIES:

  • Have a desire to do good, feel good.
  • Provide contact information.
  • Choose sponsorship level.
  • Garfield the Matchmaker will partner companies with schools in March! Register ASAP
  • To highlight your company’s commitment to the community, the Center will place your logo on this dedicated webpage and will include your company’s name on a press release in April.

 

Individual contributions to “Garfield the Matchmaker” program can be made here

“Anyone who is working on a corporate environment, you need to go home and look at the number of devices your kids have and ask yourself whether or not they’ve had the education and then think about it from that perspective. Would you want your kid to get these lessons in school?”

-Robert Theriot, Sponsor, TraceSecurity

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