Youth Services Internet Safety Night
October 16, 2003

In partnership with the Parent Teacher Associations of Skokie School District 73½ and East Prairie School, the Youth Services Department hosted an Internet Safety Night for children in grades 5 through 9, parents, and educators. The evening featured three guest speakers who provided valuable insight and information about the Internet, online safety, and how to keep children safe in the digital age.

Picture of Lisa Madigan presentationIllinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan introduced parents and educators to Project Surf Safe: Navigating the Hidden Dangers of the Internet, a program that provides parents with important online safety information and tools to ensure that all children are surfing the Internet safely. Following Ms. Madigan’s presentation, Keith Chval, chief of the Illinois Attorney General's High Tech Crimes Bureau, shared additional insight and information about online chatting behaviors that students commonly use when surfing the Internet.

Picture of Katie TarboxWhile adults met with Ms. Madigan and Mr. Chval, students met for casual conversation with Katie Tarbox, young adult author of the book Katie.com: My Story. In her book, Katie provides a firsthand account of a teenager’s online life, including her painful experience with an Internet predator whom she met in a teen chat room. At Internet Safety Night, Katie talked honestly and openly with students about her experience and what it taught her about the Internet and the importance of surfing safe and surfing smart.

The following day, Katie visited two Skokie schools to share her story and talk with young people about how to stay safe on the Internet. Katie received a warm welcome from students and teachers at Oliver McCracken Middle School and East Prairie School. A few weeks after her visit, Katie sent a letter to students and the Skokie Public Library community to say “thank you” for so honestly sharing their thoughts and concerns about Internet safety.

Internet Safety Night participants took home information packs filled with tips and tools to help students, parents, and educators learn and practice online safety skills at home and at school. Visit the Youth Services Internet Safety Information page to download your own copy of the Adult and Student Internet Safety Information Packs. For more information about Project Surf Safe: Navigating the Hidden Dangers of the Internet, visit Safeguarding Children on the website of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.