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Digital Family Events: A Facebook & National PTA Partnership

Facebook made a huge announcement today! 

Parenting in this crazy world of technology can be scary and intimidating. Similar to other “heavy”  topics, parents often avoid the subject until their faced with it head on because you get stuck in the rut of “where to start” the conversation. Unlike many other parenting topics where you can find articles, books, and lectures on how to introduce topics to kids, technology is always changing and growing and parents in 2018 face the hard challenge of feeling like their approaching the topic alone. 

This morning, Facebook announced they are partnering with National PTA (Parent Teacher Association) to conduct a series of 200 community safety events around the United States. These Digital Families Community Events are designed to help families address tech-related challenges – from online safety and bullying prevention to digital and news literacy.

The best news is that these events are part of a grant program open to all PTAs so parents can get research-backed best practices and tools to help them have important conversations with their children about technology. 

Facebook is excited to partner with National PTA to help parents who are raising kids in a connected world. With more and more young people going online, this topic is more important than ever for parents.

It’s so important that even if you’re unable to attend an event in your area, Facebook has created a variety of FREE online resources that can help you parent through your child’s introduction to technology.

The Facebook Parents Portal launched in 2017 and includes tips to make it easier for parents to talk to their children about what they do online and set guidelines. You can also connect with external experts and advisors in the fields of online safety, child development and media, such as the Net Family News, Center on Media and Child Health, MediaSmarts, and the Fred Rogers Center.

Facebook has also put together the Bullying Prevention Hub with the help of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. This is a resource for teens, parents and educators seeking support and help for issues related to bullying and other conflicts. It offers step-by-step plans, including guidance on how to start some important conversations for people being bullied, parents who have had a child being bullied or accused of bullying, and educators who have had students involved with bullying.

And my personal favorite, Facebook & Instagram have recently released helpful tools to help YOU manage the amount of time you spend online, so that you can also be a good example and role model for your children. Then as your child enters their teen years, you can have those important conversations on Time Management. 

How Can Your PTA Host an Event In Your Area?

The “2018 PTA Connected with Facebook Grant” will award $1,000 to 200 PTAs in all 54 state congresses to host a Digital Families community event. Hosts will receive unique training on online safety so they can further extend the impact of these events. All PTAs are eligible provided they can host their event during the 2018-2019 school year.

If you are a member of your local PTA Board OR want to share this information with your local PTA, here’s the details you’ll want to know:

To be eligible, PTA applicants must:

  • Be a PTA in good standing, as determined by your State PTA
  • Commit to hosting an event that engages at least 100 parents and guardians in learning activities centered on digital safety, security and wellness
  • Have at least 15 volunteers to assist with event
  • Submit evaluation results to National PTA after the event

This opportunity is now open as of today!  Your PTA can apply now for a grant to host an event.

Visit pta.org/connected/digitalfamilies to learn more. 

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