“The goal of Cyber Safety Day is to teach internet safety to as many 3 rd grade students as possible by providing them our multi-award-winning, Garfield’s Cyber Safety Adventures program,” said Sarah deBoer-Hjort from NFC. “This past year has proven that we need to do more to teach children how to be safe and secure online.”

Our mission to educate kids is particularly poignant when you understand that 53 percent of children in the United States have a smartphone by the time they are 11 years old. Moreover, according to the Center’s research, 40 percent of elementary-age children connected with an online stranger. Of that 40 percent, 11 percent met a stranger in their own home, at the stranger’s home or a park, mall or restaurant.

Nearly 70 percent of educators do not have an internet safety program in place, according to a survey conducted by the Center in 2021 and feedback from a recent Orlando event was that officials said 81% of schools participating in Cyber Safety Day Orlando do not have an internet safety program in place. We need to ensure that our youth are informed, educated and aware of how to be safe online. NFC relies on sponsorships from individuals, corporations, and nonprofits to make this a reality.

We encourage elementary schools in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties to register for participation. Selected schools will receive FREE Garfield’s Cyber Safety Adventures classroom education, including Garfield’s All-In-One activity kit that teaches children the basics of internet safety. Each Cyber Safety Day Kit includes a Garfield cartoon, comic books with activity pages, stickers, trading cards, pledge stickers, pledge poster, Garfield classroom Poster, parent letters and teacher lesson plans.

For more information about participating in Cyber Safety Day in SE FL as a school or corporate sponsor, visit the Cyber Safety Day webpage (https://www.iamcybersafe.org/s/cyber-safety-day-southeast-fl2021) or contact director ( @ ) necessitiesforchildren dot org for additional information.