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Être

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Être Website Poster Image
More interactivity, updates would boost the positivity site.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about leading a positive, socially responsible, emotionally and physically healthy lifestyle through information on charitable involvement, being a role model, having a mentor, and other topics. External links can provide knowledge about topics like start-ups and finance. They'll also find sources to learn about current events and reading suggestions and are encouraged to find a mentor. Aside from reading experience, some general financial advice, and tidbits about inspiring people, there isn't much that directly ties into kids' schoolwork; but they'll get plenty of encouragement to succeed -- making the site worthwhile.

Positive Messages

Entire theme of the site centers on adopting a constructive, upbeat approach to learning, giving, managing your time, and other aspects of life.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Être doesn't sell merchandise or have ads; the founder says if that ever changes, it will donate a large percentage of proceeds to charities that benefit girls, young women. But it does promote more than 40 different corporate and non-profit organizations.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Être is an advice-based site that's committed to offering a safe experience. Kids don't have to submit a name, email address, or in any way register to access the site content; they also can't post comments or other content, specifically because the site wants to ensure that no personal information is ever shared. Parents don't have to worry about kids seeing questionable content, since it all comes from site administrators. Kids also won't come across any ads or be pressured to buy site-related goods. They will see links to corporate partners' sites, though; some are nonprofit organizations, such as the Girl Scouts, and others involve ads or a subscription cost.

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What's it about?

With sections like Be Informed and Be Strong, it's no surprise ÊTRE is about self-empowerment; its content -- influenced by an advisory board of middle- and high-school-age girls -- includes information about managing money, having a mentor, and young inventors. Founder Illana Raia set the site up to provide girls with encouragement to pursue what they love and what they want to be. Users will also find reading suggestions, volunteering tips, and other info on Être (which means to be) along with inspiring quotes from various professionals.

Is it any good?

This guidance-based site offers a great dose of positivity. Être presents a live-your-best-life approach to creativity, volunteering, and a number of other pursuits in sections to help girls be informed, brave, smart, charitable, happy, strong, connected, wise, innovative, and well-read. Girls are encouraged to be inquisitive, kind, engaged, and happy -- things parents can probably agree are good goals. But some may be less thrilled with the links to corporate partner sites kids will see -- in addition to nonprofit research organizations, the site contains links to companies like a subscription-based professional networking service, Huffington Post, which includes items on sex, crime, and other topics, and a tech start-up from the founder of Huffington Post.

Generally, the site's content is well-written and extremely upbeat; girls are, for example, told to be fearless, and they are given examples of brave entrepreneurs and other role models. Some sections offer links to resource sites that provide additional background and information on subjects. Some pages also feature a takeaway thought to summarize what girls have read. But the site unfortunately doesn't sport a lot of bells and whistles. The images and design aren't unattractive, and an attempt has been made to break up the text with different font sizes and colors, but girls won't find a lot of interactive elements that would engage them on a deeper level. If site visitors are OK with a fair amount of reading, though, they should enjoy scrolling through the sections. Girls may not repeatedly visit Être for information -- it doesn't seem like new items are posted daily or with any regular frequency, but the site can still serve as a solid resource when they need a dose of inspiration.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about news literacy. If a TV news program and a newspaper cover the same event or topic, how does their coverage differ? Does Être help you distinguish between these two sources?

  • Être mentions some tips about volunteering and getting involved in the community, but what are some ways your family can contribute locally?

  • The site encourages girls to be their authentic selves and participate in the activities they love in life. What makes you happy? How can you work to be responsible while also bringing more joy into your life?

Website details

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