Full text of Attorney General Conway's announcement - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Full text of Attorney General Conway's announcement

PARTNERSHIP RECEIVES CYBERSAFETY GRANT FROM

AT&T FOUNDATION

Will provide workshops for parents, educators and students  

Attorney General Jack Conway, Kentucky Child Now, and the Kentucky Department of  Education today announced a $77,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation to help fund cybersafety initiatives in Kentucky. 

"The Internet is a wonderful gateway for education and entertainment for young people, and we must empower parents, teachers and students with the knowledge and tools to be safe online," said Mary Pat Regan, president of AT&T Kentucky.  "We are very pleased to support General Conway and the work of this important coalition."

The grant will fund two regional development workshops for parents and teachers and 30 student assemblies during the 2009 calendar year.  Kentucky Child Now will administer the grant.  The goal of the workshops is to help train teachers and adults in Kentucky communities about Internet safety so they can help educate others about the dangers that exist online.  The workshops will be held in Bowling Green and Northern Kentucky.

"These regional workshops will help us reach our target audience - parents and teachers of elementary, middle and high school students," General Conway said.  "As more and more children utilize social-networking sites, we must give parents and educators the tools they need to protect Kentucky kids in the ‘real world' and the virtual world."

The Office of the Attorney General, Kentucky Child Now and the Department of Education formed a partnership in the fall of 2008 to expand statewide cybersafety education efforts and teach adults to be online models, mentors and monitors.  The groups agreed to coordinate their resources to reach more Kentuckians.

"In today's economy, it is critical that we - non-profits, corporations, and government - work together to make sure that the needs of Kentucky's citizens are being met," said Mary Kate Poling, executive director of Kentucky Child Now.

Each agency has independently conducted its own education efforts and training programs to teach students, parents, teachers, law-enforcement officers, and prosecutors about the dangers that exist online.  The Office of the Attorney General and Kentucky Child Now each conduct cybersafety sessions at schools for students and parents.  Combined, the two agencies made presentations to 27,000 Kentuckians last year.  The Kentucky Department of Education teaches students and staff not only to use technology, but to use it safely and responsibly.

"While the benefits of widespread access to a large variety of real-time educational content and interactive communications through the Internet are well-documented, the positive aspects can be offset by negative behaviors," David Couch, associate commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Education's Office of Education Technology.  "Educating children, parents, school administrators and citizens on how to use these modern electronic tools appropriately and safely in cyberspace at both home and school is a priority, and this grant will bolster our efforts."

The initiative kicked off with a statewide conference in November to provide adults with the strategies they need to help keep children safe online. Workshops at the conference included presentations from MySpace and Facebook.  Ernie Allen, formerly of Louisville, who is the executive director of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, was the keynote speaker at the conference.  More than 300 parents, educators and law-enforcement officers attended the conference.

General Conway created a Cybercrimes Unit that is solely devoted to investigating crimes that occur online and processing digital forensic evidence.  Since its creation, the unit has launched 13 child pornography investigations, seized more than 8,000 child pornographic images, opened a cybercrimes lab to process digital evidence, trained 400 law enforcement officers and prosecutors, and was only one of nine agencies in the country chosen by Microsoft to host cybersafety training for investigators.  The unit is now a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children task force, which is organized by the U.S. Department of Justice. 

Kentucky Child Now works to ensure that Kentucky's youth have access to the fundamental resources they need to succeed in life - The Five Promises 1) caring adult; 2) safe places; 3) a healthy start 4) marketable skills; 5) and opportunities to serve.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services and the nation's leading wireless, high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of its three-screen integration strategy, AT&T is expanding its TV entertainment offerings. In 2008, AT&T again ranked No. 1 on Fortune magazine's World's Most Admired Telecommunications Company list and No. 1 on America's Most Admired Telecommunications Company list. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com.

About Philanthropy at AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives and partnerships, AT&T supports projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2007, AT&T contributed more than $164 million through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T and the AT&T Foundation, the corporate philanthropy organization of AT&T, combine more than $1.9 billion of historic charitable commitment to communities across the country.

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