The Y In Central Maryland Joins Six-City Partnership With Google To Bring Online Safety Workshops And Resources To Families Across The U.S.

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The Y in Central Maryland is teaming up with Google to host workshops for parents to help teach families about online safety and digital citizenship with its Be Internet Awesome program (BIA), and help families create healthy digital habits with the Family Link app.

The partnership that began with the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago has expanded to include six U.S. cities. The YMCA Associations, including The Y in Central Maryland have joined efforts with Google to offer thousands of families across the country resources from Google’s Be Internet Awesome online safety and digital citizenship program to help teach kids the basics of digital citizenship and safety, to help them make the most of the Internet and be prepared to make smart decisions online. A total of 100 workshops have been scheduled at YMCA locations in Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Long Island, with The Y in Central Maryland hosting 14 events starting today.

The workshops, designed for parents, coincide with June’s National Internet Safety Month and come at the start of the school summer holidays when screen time use typically surges and parents seek ways to best protect their children from unscrupulous online activity.

“As the Internet and technology become more and more ingrained in our daily lives, making sure that families are equipped with the necessary tools to establish safe and healthy online habits is crucial. Google’s Be Internet Awesome program empowers families to have conversations about online at home with helpful information. We feel strongly that these resources need to reach our communities and are honored to be partnering with Google,” said Y President and CEO John Hoey.

“We are thrilled to bring the Be Internet Awesome program to families across the U.S. through parent workshops,” said Jessica Covarrubias, Google’s Be Internet Awesome lead. “We want to encourage families to navigate the Internet in a safe and confident manner. This is why we’ve developed Be Internet Awesome to help teach kids and families the fundamentals of online safety and digital citizenship. Parents have expressed the need for helpful information on these topics, so we designed resources for families and created parent workshops to provide the tools and resources to guide conversations about online safety at home.”

The one-hour workshops are free and will focus on Be Internet Awesome’s “Internet Code of Awesome”: Be SMART, ALERT, STRONG, KIND and BRAVE. Families will learn to teach their children how to communicate responsibly, understand real from fake in the face of phishing and scams, build strong passwords, be positive and kind online, talk about questionable content with their family, and why building healthy tech habits is important. The workshops will give parents access to free bilingual resources, answers to questions about online safety and digital citizenship, and information to help facilitate discussions at home. Most centers are also offering child care services during the session for the convenience of parents.

The six-city collaboration emerged following the success of a pilot program between the YMCA of Metro Chicago and Google in April 2019 in hosting 18 BIA workshops at each of the Association’s centers. Parents showed a strong desire to learn more about Internet safety, and many described the workshop as “informative” and “helpful” and now feel comfortable initiating a discussion about digital safety with their children. As an established nonprofit organization who knows and understands the communities it serves, the Y has the unique ability to help partners connect directly with families.

See below for a list of 14 upcoming Y workshop locations and dates. Visit YBIA.org for the complete list of 100 workshops in six cities.

June 19, 12:00PM

The Y in Catonsville

850 South Rolling Rd., Catonsville, MD 21228

410-747-9622

June 19, 6:00PM

The Y in Pasadena

26th Magathy Beach Rd., Pasadena, Md 21122

410-437-4242

June 20, 6:00PM

The Dancel Y in Ellicott City

4331 Montgomery Rd., Ellicott City , MD 21043

410-465-4334

June 21, 6:30PM

The Y in Druid Hill

1609 Druid Hill Ave., Baltimore, MD 21217

410-728-1600

June 22, 6:00PM

The Greater Annapolis Y in Arnold

1209 Ritchie Highway, Arnold, Md 21012

410-544-2525

June 24, 7:00PM

The Hill Y in Westminster

1719 Sykesville Rd., Westminster, MD 21157

410-848-3660

June 25, 6:00PM

The Y in Parkville

8910 Waltham Woods Rd., Parkville, MD 21234

410-663-1300

June 26, 6:00PM

The Y in Perry Hall

4375 Ebenezer Rd., Perry Hall Md 21236

410-663-1300

June 26, 6:00PM

The Ward Y in Abingdon

101 Walter Ward Blvd., Abingdon, MD 21009

410-697-9622

June 27, 6:00PM

The Orokawa Y in Towson

600 West Chesapeake Ave., Towson, Md 21204

410-823-8870

June 27, 1:30PM

The Weinberg Y in Waverly

900 East 33rd St., Baltimore, Md 21218

410-889-9622

June 27, 5:30PM

Y Swim Center in Randallstown

3505 Resource Drive, Randallstown, MD 21133

410-496-4272

June 27, 6:30PM

Better Sterner Y Preschool

850 South Rolling Rd., Catonsville, MD 21228

410-747-4951

July 16, 6:00PM

Y Camp Spencer

3773 Peach Orchard Rd., Street, Md 21154

410-697-9622