August 21, 2008
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and Sprint Bring Internet Safety Resources to Spanish Speakers
NSTeens.org, an Internet safety resource from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and Sprint (NYSE:S), is now offering online materials in Spanish to help raise safety awareness in Hispanic communities. Created by experts at NCMEC's NetSmartz Workshop, the resource educates today's tech-savvy generation about the potential risks they may encounter while growing up on the Internet and the importance of modeling safer behavior online. Now entering its second year, the program's online resources engage tweens (youth ages eight to 12), their parents, guardians and educators on issues such as cyberbullying and social networking.
Research from the Pew Internet and American Life Project indicates 76 percent of bilingual Latinos and 32 percent of Spanish-dominant Latinos use the Internet. The new Spanish translations are designed to reach this audience with important online safety resources using Web comics, animated videos and activity cards.
"We know that talking about the potential risks our children face online can be difficult for everyone, but education is critical to all of our online safety efforts," said Ernie Allen, NCMEC president and CEO. "No audience should be overlooked, and we are grateful to Sprint for sharing our commitment to reaching as many people as possible with tools they can use to make their families safer."
Sprint has committed $395,000 for the second year of this partnership; this money will be used to bring enhancements and new content to www.NSTeens.org. All existing content is available now in Spanish by clicking on "En Espanol" in the top-right corner of the page. In addition, the site will launch new content in the coming months in both Spanish and English, including a look at some of the potential future consequences of online actions and the issues associated with online gaming.
"We are so pleased to be continuing our partnership with NCMEC to fund NSTeens, particularly now that we're able to bring these materials to an even wider audience," said Debby Ballard, director of Community Relations for Sprint. "At Sprint, we're committed to finding ways that we can all work together to provide the best opportunities for our children. The Internet is an important tool from which many youth can benefit - but it's also a tool that's seeing an increasing number of dangers. NSTeens.org gives our children the information they need to start making smarter choices online and in the real word, in ways that are both fun and meaningful for them."
NSTeens.org is a key part of Sprint's 4NetSafety(SM) program. 4NetSafety provides children, teachers, parents, guardians and other adults with the tools and information they need so youth, particularly those in the susceptible "tween" range, can grow up using the Internet more safely. Sprint's 4NetSafety program was recently recognized by FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate for its leadership in the area of Internet safety. To learn more about 4NetSafety, please visit www.4NetSafety.com.
All 4NetSafety funding is provided through Sprint Project Connect, Sprint's long-running phone recycling program. Sprint Project Connect accepts wireless phones and accessories of any make and model, and from any carrier. Anyone wishing to support 4NetSafety and dispose of their old phone in an environmentally-safe manner is encouraged to visit a Sprint Store or go online to www.sprint.com/projectconnect to print a postage-paid mailing label.
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Since it was established by Congress in 1984, the organization has operated the toll-free 24-hour national missing children's hotline, which has handled more than 2.3 million calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 128,750 children. The organization's CyberTipline has handled more than 600,000 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 14,750,000 child pornography images and videos. The organization works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice's office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. To learn more about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at (800) THE-LOST or visit its Web site at www.missingkids.com.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving nearly 52 million customers at the end of the second quarter 2008; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.