Students at Woodbrook Elementary had a very exciting surprise waiting for them this morning. Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Carmel Clay School Board, and Senator Richard Lugar’s office visited to congratulate students for achieving the top score nationally on the FBI’s online safety program, FBI-Safe Online Surfing, or SOS.
Third, fourth, and fifth grade students in January took part in the national program that teaches students about being safe using technology and being online, and also helping them to become more conscious of their own activities on the Internet.
Woodbrook mom and member of the FBI Citizen Academy, Susan Woodhouse, first introduced the idea for the program after other members of the Academy heard about it at a conference.
“This program is so imperative for our schools and kids because even the most involved parents can’t always be there and our kids really need to be educated about this,” said Woodhouse. “My fifth grader took the test after the program and came home and said she’d missed a few questions. I think this was enlightening for her, and for me, because she thought she knew what she was doing online, and now she’s a bit more aware.”
The program was established in 2005 by the FBI in an effort to better reach children and teach them to be more aware online, while texting and using technology. While getting the program into an already packed school day is a challenge, members of the Carmel Clay Schools administration are already considering implementing the program in all schools.
“Our hope is to reach as many kids as we can,” said Kathryn Sipes, the community outreach coordinator with the FBI. “Only three schools in the area have used the program, but with Woodbrook’s high score nationally, hopefully more local schools will want to get involved with the program.”
To learn more about the program, and take part in the online, non-competitive, free programs about being safe online, visit www.fbi-sos.org.