Google announced a new partnership today to promote online safety and positivity for young children. The company is working with the National Parent Teachers Association and the nonprofit DonorsChoose.org, which lets companies donate directly to public schools, on a project the organizations are calling Be Internet Awesome. Essentially, Google is trying to better educate new web users on how to combat the negative aspects of the internet, especially as a vast majority of communication, entertainment, and education moves to digital platforms and tools. Research shows us that parents want to teach their kids how to be safe online but are unsure how to get the conversation going, explains Google employee Julianne Yi, whos helping organize the Be Internet Awesome initiative. To help them, we created workshop kits so that parents can teach one another about how to spark productive discussions on digital safety and citizenship. The project is launching as part of Octobers National Cybersecurity Awareness and National Bullying Prevention Month. Participating schools will receive free Google Pixelbook laptops for parents and their kids, as well as presentation materials — in both English and Spanish — to teach students about online safety, fostering positive digital experiences, and tailoring internet use to meet specific family needs. Google is also awarding $1,000 grants to local PTAs in every state in the US that participate in the initiative. Those interested in participating for one of the 200 grants or a Google Pixelbook kit can apply through the National PTA website.
The company is also giving out $1,000 grants to parent organizations for online safety workshops. Google and the National Parent Teacher Association are joining forces to help educate parents and kids about online safety. The search giant will give out all-in-one kits that include a Google Pixelbook and presentations covering a variety of topics regarding online safety including phishing and scams, privacy and security, cyberbullying and "inappropriate" content. They also include some decorative reminders of best practices like banners and posters in both English and Spanish. The kits come as part of Google and the National PTA's new program that will provide $1,000 grants to PTAs across the country. A total of 200 awards will be given out to set up online safety workshops, and a kit will be provided to each winner. The partnership between Google and the National PTA marks an expansion of the company's Be Internet Awesome campaign, which it launched last year along with an online game that teaches kids the basics of internet safety. Google won't be making the internet safety kit available to consumers, though. Instead it will work with schools and parent organizations to distribute them and set up workshops at schools, according to VentureBeat. The presentations included in the kits will be made available online for anyone to view later this year.