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Sheriff's Youth Foundation launches new Internet safety program for kids

Grant from Verizon covers costs

Posted: June 9, 2009 8:34 p.m.
Updated: June 9, 2009 8:34 p.m.
 
LOS ANGELES COUNTY, June 9 (PRNewswire) -- Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department detectives from the Special Victims Unit have launched an Internet safety program for children and parents, in partnership with Verizon.

Approximately 80 parents attended a ceremony on Saturday, June 6 at the sheriff's Compton Youth Activity League to launch the program.

At the event, the Sheriff's Department hosted the first Awareness is Power Internet Safety course, and Verizon presented a check for $41,000 to support the program.

"It is an honor to partner with Verizon to establish this Internet safety program," Sheriff Lee Baca said. "This program will give children and their parents the tools they need to have a safe and secure Internet experience while exploring the limitless possibilities of the digital world."

The Awareness is Power Internet Safety program will be available at the Sheriff Department's 14 Youth Activity League centers throughout the county and will serve approximately 4,500 children and adults. Two courses, one geared for children and the other for adults and parents, have been developed. Curriculum topics will include social networking sites, chat rooms, parental controls, e-mail, text messaging, legal downloading and financial Internet safety.

In addition, to help manage their children's Internet experiences, Verizon is making it easier for parents to find and access the online parental controls and resources for customers of the company's online, FiOS TV and wireless services. The enhanced Web site, www.verizon.net/parentalcontrol, gives parents using Verizon Wireless, Verizon FiOS TV and any of Verizon's high-speed Internet services the ability to make decisions about their families' wireless, TV and online use.

John Johnson, vice president for Verizon Wireless, said: "Advanced broadband technology powers today's online world for business and family entertainment. The challenge for parents is managing that experience for their children so it's a positive one. Our online tools, tips and software help make this happen. Verizon's grant is another step in the right direction as we partner with the Sheriff's Department to educate parents and children alike."

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational Web site, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence. In 2008, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $68 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $26 million in combined contributions to nonprofits. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

About the Sheriff Youth Foundation
The Sheriff's Youth Foundation was created in 1985, based upon the belief that crime prevention programs focused on youth are the key to developing safer communities. The Foundation's objective is to increase community safety by fostering self-esteem and a sense of purpose, assisting youth to find value in themselves, to feel a sense of direction, and define who they are. The foundation supports two countywide programs; Success Through Awareness & Resistance (STAR) Program and the Youth Activity Leagues (Y.A.L.).

About Verizon
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 86 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations provide converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. Wireline also includes Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 237,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

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