Our PTA wants to hold an event on Internet safety for parents.
Programming aimed at technology, cyberbullying and Internet
safety is a great, contemporary topic to present-and often the last
thing parents want to talk about after a busy day with work and
Finding the right program and setting up easy-to-access
information on the subject is the best way to get important
information in the hands of parents. Follow these steps when
putting together a program in your school.
1) Narrow your topic. Internet safety has become a generic term
and can feel overwhelming to parents. Consider a topic that has a
focused appeal-cyberbullying, online strangers, Facebook and
privacy are all important topics for families that embody the basic
2) Learn from other schools. Contact other schools in the area
to find out about programs they've hosted on technology, the
Internet or online safety.
3) Research presentations. Dated materials and fear-focused
presenters can leave your audience feeling frustrated, scared and
confused. Look for presenters and materials with up-to-date
presentations and established credentials. Start with PTOToday.com,
which provides a free planning kit, or Commonsensemedia.org, which
offers free PowerPoint presentations, scripts and handouts.
Netsmartz.org and Safekids.com also offer presentations and
workshop materials for parents and kids.
4) Get kids involved. This provides double benefits. First, it
requires that students attend the event, which means parents will
more likely attend. Second, it reinforces the messages on the
student level. Consider how students can produce a skit, provide
personal testimony or serve as ushers during your event.
5) Connect it with curriculum. Can cyberbullying be a writing
prompt for a sixth-grade English personal essay? Can the
fourth-grade math class learn about percentages using statistics
about youth and media use? Talk to teachers to see how a program on
Internet safety could meet the curriculum requirements of a
6) Make information available. Hectic family schedules make
attendance challenging. Materials that can be sent home with
children or posted on the school website will best reach your
Sharon Cindrich is a mom and a writer specializing in
helping parents understand technology.
Sharon Cindrich is a mother of two tech-savvy kids from Virginia Beach. Learn more at sharoncindrich.com.
See more of Sharon's stories here.
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