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Mary Abbott’s House to teach children in Norman about online safety

Mary Abbott’s Children’s House is a child’s advocacy center, assisting kids experiencing abuse and neglect.

The children’s house has created the ALRT Program to teach kids about online safety. While there are organizations in the Norman area teaching children about this, the children’s house is focusing on grades six through 12.

“There’s nobody out there teaching online safety to kids in schools. And so our program will actually go into the schools typically with a student resource officer, the police officers that are in schools they will present the monique burr curriculum,” said Development Director, Jennifer Skinner. 

The curriculum is tailored to different age groups. For example, a twelfth grader’s curriculum is not the same as a sixth grader’s. With the pandemic causing a shift to virtual learning, the children’s house took the initiative to redirect what students are using their screen time for.

“The average screen time for a student is about 10 hours a day through research, that is a lot. And so we’re just seeing the need that kids need to be prepared for what is out there and not just think that it’s this scary thing that happens in big cities, it can happen in our backyard,” said Educational Outreach Coordinator, Ronni Roney. 

In 2019 the child welfare system in norman had 50 substantiated cases of child exploitation and child pornography. The goal of the ALRT Program is to avoid, learn, react and tell while being online.

“Actually having them do some critical thinking while in those apps rather than just taking pictures and posting. We’re wanting them to really think about what they’re doing,” said Roney. 

The program is hoping its launch will attract schools looking to keep their students safe. This month expect to see “ALRT ” billboards, public service campaigns, and radio ads across Norman, Oklahoma.

Categories: News

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