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Wendi Bulkley of TDS and Principal Rod Broadhead kick off assembly at Desert Canyon Elementary

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Online Safety Tips for Families

An educational partnership between TDS Telecom and Utah Tech University

Screentime use among children and teens across America is increasing; in fact, a recent survey released by Common Sense Media found that overall screen use among this age group increased by 17% percent from 2019 to 2021. This presents a growing need for parents and guardians to establish healthy boundaries for online screen use.

TDS Telecom is partnering with Utah Tech University and is proud to be the title sponsor of the Be Safe Online program, planned for 28 elementary schools in Washington County. The goal is to reach more than 18,000 students through the 2022-23 school year. During Internet Safety Week, schools will host activities and conclude with a high-energy, music-filled, all-school assembly.

Says Wendi Bulkley, TDS senior administrator of field marketing, “Elementary school students are taught about internet safety in a fun and engaging way. During the week, they receive educational handouts to share with their parents, with tips on being safe online and topics to encourage family conversations.”

The program kicked off its first assembly in September at Desert Canyons Elementary School.

“We had a blast,” says Wendi. “I can’t thank Utah Tech enough for bringing so much enthusiasm and talent. These elementary students really look up to these college students. Plus, they are so tech savvy and do a great job teaching how important it is to be safe online.”

Allyson Luekenga and Avery Mortensen of Empowering Young Minds and other members of the Crimson View Elementary PTA developed the “STOP” Internet Safety Program, upon which the TDS Be Safe Online program is based.

“This was new territory for us, and as parents, we felt a need to teach basic internet safety principles to our children,” says Allyson.

Adds Avery, “These safety tips are easy to remember and fun to learn.”

This article contains sponsored content.

“The creation of this program is a result of what happens when people come together. We’re excited TDS and Utah Tech are helping us share it with our school community," says Allyson Luekenga. Avery Mortensen agrees, suggesting this program gives children the tools they need to protect themselves.

  • Friends perusing the internet
  • Mother in shock as she views daughter's phone content and phone usage
  • Father discusses internet safety with daughters
  • Desert Hills Elementary School students are the first group to learn about the TDS internet safety program with Utah Tech students
  • Wendi Bulkley of TDS and Principal Rod Broadhead kick off assembly at Desert Canyon Elementary
  • Student representatives from Utah Tech give high-fives to elementary students
  • Students have a blast with Brooks, the Bison, the Utah Tech mascot