AOL Canada Inc.

AOL Canada Inc.

May 16, 2005 07:00 ET

Second Annual Online Safety Week Kicks Off

AOL Canada launches event series, nationwide contest to promote online safety Attention: Education Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor, Photo Editor, Tech/Telecomm Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 16, 2005) - AOL Canada Inc. today announced the official launch of its second annual Online Safety Week, which runs today through May 20, 2005. Online Safety Week is comprised of a series of public education events that will take place in Toronto and Vancouver to help teachers and parents understand how to help children best leverage the Internet - while keeping them safe from predators, cyber-bullies and other online menaces.

"These days it's difficult to go a week without hearing another story about a child involved with cyber-bullying or otherwise faced with danger while online," said Karen Robbins, AOL Canada's Online Safety Expert and 'Net Mom.' "AOL's goal in creating Online Safety Week is to reassure parents and teachers that they don't need to ban children from the Web. Rather, they need to teach children the tools to protect themselves and be cyber-smart - just as we teach youth to be street-smart when they are venturing out into the 'real' world."

In addition to talking directly to schools in Toronto and Vancouver (see details below), AOL
Canada has assembled a panel of experts to speak with parents and teachers about online safety in
depth (which will include a Q&A session with the expert panel). Selected panelists include Suzanne Riverin, Co-Executive Director, Education Network of Ontario; Kevin Von Appen, Associate Director, Ontario Science Centre; Rob Stringer, author of the "Parenting With Intention" newsletter; Detective Constable Paul Krawczyk, Child Exploitation Section of Toronto Police Service; Gillian Shaw, journalist with the Vancouver Sun; and AOL Canada's own online safety expert and 'Net Mom' Karen Robbins.

"AOL Canada's Online Safety Week initiative is very important because it brings people together to talk about online safety, explore the issues, and raise awareness among families and educators which is definitely needed in today's Internet-centric climate," said Detective Constable Paul Krawczyk, Child Exploitation Section of Toronto Police Service. "I can tell you based on hands-on experience that it is vital that parents get involved in their child's online activities."

In addition, Toshiba of Canada has aligned with AOL Canada to encourage all schools across the country to hold their own online safety initiative. Schools throughout Canada* are eligible to enter an Online Safety Week Contest for a chance to win a Toshiba computer lab. Schools need only hold their own Online Safety Day/Week and share their story with AOL Canada. Judging will be based on the success (including student involvement, creativity, etc.) of the school's online safety initiative. For full contest details, including teachers' guides, contest entry forms and Rules and Regulations, and a host of more online safety resources, please visit www.aol.ca/onlinesafetyweek. (Deadline for entry is June 30, 2005.)

"Toshiba is a family-oriented company and while we are technology leaders and advocates, we care a great deal about keeping our kids safe online," said Sherry Lyons, Marketing Communications Manager, Toshiba of Canada Information Systems Group. "Mobile computers help kids realize that education is everywhere, and we want to make sure that they're kept safe when they're expanding their horizons. Six new Toshiba Satellite notebook computers will be given to the winning school to benefit the learning environment and reinforce Toshiba's commitment to education."

AOL Canada will be hosting afternoon events (open to media and photographers) at the local
elementary schools listed below. Media are also encouraged to attend the panel sessions for parents
in the evening.

Agenda of Events:

Monday, May 16, 2005 - 12:45-2:25 p.m.; 2:40-3:30 p.m.
Palmerston Public School
734 Palmerston Avenue (Bloor & Bathurst)
Panel Session (same location): 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - 1:00-2:00 p.m.; 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Ryerson Community School
96 Denison Avenue (Dundas & Bathurst)

Panel Session: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
St. John Catholic School
780 Kingston Road (East of Main Street on Kingston Road)

Thursday, May 19 - 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Mount Pleasant Public School
2300 Guelph Street, Vancouver, B.C.
Panel Session (same location): 6:30-7:30 p.m.

*Quebec schools not eligible.

About AOL Canada Inc.
AOL Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of America Online, Inc., which is the world's leading interactive services company with more than 28 million members worldwide. AOL Canada provides enhanced Internet experiences to Canadians. Representing a portfolio of pioneering Internet brands including AOL, Netscape and CompuServe, AOL Canada Inc. continues to change and enhance the scope of what people can do online. AOL Canada is dedicated to helping people get more out of their Internet with new Internet innovations that offer more control, better security, more versatility and a more enjoyable experience.

To attend one of the sessions or schedule a one-on-one interview with AOL Canada, please contact:

Becky Bolt
AOL Canada Inc.
(416) 960-6605
(416) 209-7874 (mobile)
beckyboltca@aol.com

Alana Coleman/Daniela Ferri
Mansfield Communications Inc.
(416) 599-0024
(416) 520-2794 (mobile)
alana@mcipr.com/daniela@mcipr.com
IN: EDUCATION, TECHNOLOGY

Contact Information

  • Alana Coleman, Senior Consultant
    Primary Phone: 416-599-0024
    Secondary Phone: 416-520-2794
    E-mail: alana@mcipr.com