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New Game for Kids 8 to 12 Teaches Them How to Stay Safe on the Internet

June 14, 2011

Game Featured on www.NSTeens.org, a Site From the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children That Teaches Online Safety to Kids Ages 8 to 12

ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new game is now available for kids between the ages of 8 and 12 that is not only fun but also teaches them how to stay safer while on the Internet. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) and Sprint (NYSE: S) announced today that in honor of Internet Safety month, the popular child-focused Internet safety website www.NSTeens.org has been expanded to include a new educational game created for the “in-between” tween audience of 8 to 12 year olds. The new game, “Tad’s Profile Panic,” teaches kids about what information should not be included in their online profiles. Players help Tad clean up his messy profile by collecting the information that should be kept private while avoiding others who would dispense Tad’s personal information all over school.

It is estimated that 73% of teens between the ages of 12 to 17 have social networking profiles. Around 86% of teens comment on the pages or walls of their friends’ social networking profiles. The goal of the new game “Tad’s Profile Panic” is to educate kids before they reach their teen years when use of social networking increases.

“Today, children rely more on the Internet than ever before in history. The majority of households today have at least one computer, and we know that most teens access the Internet from multiple locations,” said Ernie Allen, president and CEO of NCMEC. “Kids already know that the Internet is a wonderful resource. They also need to understand the potential risks and the simple things that they can do that will help them stay safe. That is why NSTeens was created. It is designed for tweens but also can serve as an educational resource for parents and teachers. We are grateful to Sprint for their continuing commitment to help keep children safe while online.”

“Children learn in different ways and at different paces, but forms of education that combine fun with learning tend to be successful,” said Debby Ballard, director of Community Affairs for Sprint. “We hope that many young people will benefit from this new free game, and we are excited to enhance our partnership with NCMEC through this latest offering.”

In addition to online games, NSTeens.org has animated videos featuring a multi-ethnic cast of comic-book-style characters and accompanied by videos of real teens talking about their online experiences. All NSTeens’ videos include activity cards to help teachers build the videos into their lesson plans and open a dialogue with their students. The new game, as well as all of the content on www.NSTeens.org, is available in English and Spanish.

NCMEC created the popular website www.NSTeens.org in 2007 in partnership with Sprint with the objective of providing a resource for the often overlooked “tweens” who are ages 8 to 12. NSTeens is an expansion of NCMEC’s successful NetSmartz Workshop, which is a web-based safety program designed specifically for children. Sprint provides funding for NSTeens through its Internet safety initiative, 4NetSafety(SM).

Both NetSmartz Workshop and 4NetSafety offer free resources to teens, parents, and teachers. Issues like online gaming, cyberbullying, and social networking are addressed through animated videos, games and other content. Since www.NSTeens.org was launched, the site has grown and expanded with new content added each year.

During the 2009-2010 school year, the www.NSTeens.org website was visited by more than 268,000 students, parents and educators. During the most recent 2010-2011 school year the number of visitors to the NSTeens website increased to more than 476,000.

Sprint’s 4NetSafety Internet safety program is conducted in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the National Education Association Health Information Network and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The program is funded through Sprint Project Connect(SM), Sprint’s charitable wireless recycling program. For more Internet safety tips or information about how to recycle a wireless phone and/or accessories, visit www.4netsafety.com.

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 3,372,730 calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 163,330 children. The organization’s CyberTipline has handled more than 1,116,860 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 50,852,620 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 1-800-THE-LOST or visit its website 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 served more than 51 million customers at the end of 1Q 2011 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

SOURCE National Center for Missing & Exploited Children


Source: newswire