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  • Writer's pictureBGC Metro Baltimore

Google.org, Highlights, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore team up to teach kids how to stay safe online



Local Boys & Girl Club kids played interactive games and heard from local leaders about the

importance of internet safety and responsibility.


On March 25th, Google.org, Highlights for Children and Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore teamed up to host an afternoon of interactive activities to help kids be safe and smart online. During the event, approximately 60 2nd – 6th graders tackled a variety of educational games and puzzles teaching them skills like how to create a safe and strong password, why it’s important to take breaks from screens and the value of being kind online.


Baltimore City Councilwoman Phylicia Porter, along with Maryland Department of Information Technology’s Director of Local Cybersecurity Netta Squires, joined the activities by participating in the interactive games with the kids and reminding them about the importance of responsibly using the internet.


“We’re so excited to be bringing this awesome Highlights curriculum that teaches kids to be safe, confident and kind internet explorers directly to kids in Baltimore thanks to our partners at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.”

In the U.S., “How to prevent cyberbullying” and “How to explain internet safety to a child” are the top “how to...” searches on Google related to internet safety over the past year. In Maryland, “online safety” was searched twice as often as “car seat safety.” Marylanders’ searches for "screen time" reached an all-time high in February 2024, and over the past year, “screen time for kids” searches more than doubled.



The day's activities were based on a special internet safety issue of Highlights, which was co-

created with Google using the company’s kid-friendly Be Internet Awesome curriculum. Games included: a strong password face-off on dueling laptops, a “spot what's wrong with this email” adventure and a “kindness box” encouraging kids to send a nice note to a friend or family member online.


“Safety is our number one priority at Boys & Girls Clubs, and we are grateful to partners like Google for helping us meet the evolving safety needs of kids to include the places they spend time online,” said Jeff Breslin, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore. “This was a fun, interactive activity during a week when Clubs are open all day to support students over the school spring break.”


This event is part of Google.org’s ongoing collaboration with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Highlights for Children to help empower young people with tools and training they need to safely explore online. Earlier this year, Google.org announced a $20 million commitment to support work that keeps kids and teens of all ages safe online.


“At Google, everything we do for kids, teens and families is created to empower, designed to respect, and built to protect,” said Justin Steele, Google.org America’s Director. “We’re so excited to be bringing this awesome Highlights curriculum that teaches kids to be safe, confident and kind internet explorers directly to kids in Baltimore thanks to our partners at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.”


Kids, families and teachers across Maryland can explore the same great internet safety

resources shared at the event, for free, by visiting Highlights.com/internetSafety.

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