FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 1998
Melissa Andrews 202-828-9767
Elissa Lumley 202-828-8845
Multi-million dollar America Links Up campaign features PSAs, kid celebrities, website, safety tips and tools, televised safety forum, and hundreds of community teach-in events
WASHINGTON, DC, September 15, 1998 - A partnership of the largest providers of Internet services and children's programming, and the leading education and children's advocacy organizations launched a multi-million dollar Internet education campaign today with a goal of making the Internet experience rewarding and safe for children. The campaign, which arose out of an Internet Online Summit on child safety held last December, was unveiled today at a National Town Hall in Washington, DC.
Called "America Links Up," the campaign will reach communities across the country through hundreds of local Internet "Teach-Ins," events that will bring parents, teachers, librarians and other caregivers together to discuss Internet basics and to learn how to guide children's online activities.
"We're answering the call from parents who want to know how to ensure that their children can reap the incredible rewards that the Internet has to offer while avoiding the risks," says Dennis Eckart, former Ohio Congressman and Executive Director of America Links Up. "We have constructed a far-reaching, integrated public education campaign that will raise awareness, deliver information and provide technological and non-technological tools to empower parents and other caregivers to provide guidance for their children online," he added.
Nearly 250 events in more than 30 states have already registered to participate in the America Links Up campaign. National Kids Online Week, Sept. 14-20, has been designated as the first phase of the program, which is slated to continue throughout the year.
in Washington, D.C.
The campaign was officially launched today at a National Town Hall held in Washington, D.C., featuring Secretary of Education Richard Riley. Parents, teachers, kids, legislators, corporations, and family and education groups discussed both the benefits and pitfalls of the Internet for children, as well as the tools and tips that can be used to keep kids safe online.
"Millions of kids across the country use the Internet every day for school research, for communicating with friends, and for fun. We need to educate, inform, and empower those on the front lines -- parents, teachers, and other care-givers ‚ to ensure that kids have a safe and rewarding experience online," Secretary of Education Richard Riley said.
"By fostering and supporting hundreds of local events this week and throughout the next year, the America Links Up campaign will educate parents and teachers about effective, affordable, and easy-to-use tools that will empower them to guide kids online," he added.
Public Service Announcements, Website, Nationally Broadcast Education Forum
At the National Town Hall held today, corporations and non-profit groups joined in unveiling several core elements of the America Links Up education campaign, aimed at fostering grassroots events across the country. The elements of the campaign include:
With 52 million kids back in school, The America Links Up campaign kicked off this week . But, over 245 events in more than 30 states have registered to participate. Events are taking place from Massachusetts to California and in most states in between. For example, events are being held at a public library in Cedar Falls, Iowa; a Best Buy store in Richfield, Minnesota; a CyberCafe in Circleville, Ohio; and a high school in Englewood, Colorado.
In Elmhurst, Illinois, the Elmhurst Public Library created a new class -- Internet Training for Kids and Their Parents -- in association with National Kids Online Week. Topics covered include "The Internet - what's in it for you?" "How do I find the good stuff?" "How safe is the Web?" and "How do I use the Internet at the library?"
"If an event is not scheduled in your area, consider planning your own," said Dennis Eckart, former Ohio Congressman and executive director for America Links Up. "If you're a teacher, organize an assembly at your school; if you're a parent, call your community center about holding an event, and if you're a librarian, host an event at your library," he added.
Supporters and Sponsors
as of September 14, 1998
Corporate and Non-Profit Sponsors