Common Sense Media, Building Bright Futures, and Omaha Public Schools Announce City-Wide Digital Citizenship Week

First-ever community-wide initiative includes programs, activities, and lessons designed to help kids and families make smart media choices

Common Sense Media
Tuesday, April 19, 2011

San Francisco, CA and Omaha, NE – Common Sense Media, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids and families thrive in a world of media and technology, is partnering with Building Bright Futures and Omaha Public Schools to present Omaha's first Digital Citizenship Week -- April 24-30, 2011. The city-wide initiative will explore the impact media and technology have on kids, and will feature events and resources that parents, teachers, and other mentors can use to help kids make great media choices and become responsible digital citizens.

"We're thrilled to work with Omaha Public Schools on this first-ever Digital Citizenship Week," said James Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media. "Media and technology offer great opportunities, but only if our kids know how to think critically and behave responsibly in the fast-paced digital world. Omaha Public Schools has been a real leader in this digital citizenship movement, and we applaud them for reaching out to families and educators in Omaha about the benefits and pitfalls of this 24/7 media world, and for preparing students to be productive, respectful, and safe digital citizens."

Common Sense Media is providing comprehensive Digital Citizenship Week Activity Kits for Omaha schools and community organizations, including after-school and mentoring programs, serving children in grades K-8. Designed to engage students, parents and the community at large on timely and important topics like cyberbullying, the activity kits will supplement Common Sense Media's digital literacy and citizenship curriculum, already in use in Omaha Public Schools.

"Digital Citizenship Week is a natural extension of the work we're doing every day in Omaha classrooms," said Janelle Mullen, assistant superintendent of Omaha Public Schools. "We believe it's essential to proactively address issues such as cyberbullying and digital reputation, which is why we've incorporated Common Sense Media's curriculum since 2009. We appreciate each of the schools that is working hard this week to help Omaha youth stay responsible and safe online."

Dozens of schools have already expressed interest in participating in Digital Citizenship Week and are putting innovative plans in place to engage the community. At Nathan Hale Middle School, a group of students who have been using Common Sense Media's curriculum will play a leadership role in teaching basic digital citizenship skills to the entire student body. Morton Magnet Middle School will host a family workshop to bring together parents and students to talk about how to behave safely and participate responsibly in today's digital world. McMillan Magnet Middle School is planning a showcase of student work and classroom lessons that will occur during Digital Citizenship Week.

"These issues extend beyond the classroom, making it essential for our entire community to be educated and involved," said John Cavanaugh, executive director of Building Bright Futures. Building Bright Futures is a co-presenter of Digital Citizenship Week. "Our partner organizations are committed to reaching parents, young people and other concerned citizens to help them learn how to be good digital citizens. This is a critical skill that young people need to be productive members of our society."

About Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. We exist because our kids are growing up in a culture that profoundly impacts their physical, social, and emotional well-being. We provide families with the advice and media reviews they need in order to make the best choices for their children. Through our education programs and policy efforts, Common Sense Media empowers parents, educators, and young people to become knowledgeable and responsible digital citizens. For more information, go to:

Press Contacts
Marisa Connolly
Common Sense Media
[email protected]

Luanne Nelson
Omaha Public Schools
[email protected]