SILVER SPRING, Md. -- Intel Security, the world's largest dedicated security technology company, in partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms nationwide, has announced the winners of the Think Before You Link Sweepstakes. Part of the Intel® Security Digital Safety Program, a three-year national education initiative designed to teach children to "Think Before You Link" and make safer decisions when using the Internet, this sweepstakes awards more than $30,000 in cash prizes to deserving educators and elementary schools across the country in an effort to enhance students' understanding of digital safety and awareness.
Educators, parents and community members nationwide were invited to enter in the Think Before You Link Sweepstakes on behalf of an elementary school of their choice by pledging their commitment to improve online safety awareness and guide today's students to become responsible digital citizens. The grand prize winner of the sweepstakes receives a $10,000 grant, second place winner receives a $5,000 grant and ten honorable mentions each receive a $1,000 grant to be used toward strengthening in-school digital safety awareness programs.
The grand prize and second place winning schools include:
1st Place: Namaqua Elementary School of Thompson School District R2-J in Loveland, Colo.
2nd Place: Oakcliff Elementary School of DeKalb County School District in Atlanta, Ga.
On May 15, Intel Security and Discovery Education surprised students at Thompson School District R2-J's Namaqua Elementary School in Loveland, Colo., with a special assembly to announce their school had been chosen as the grand prize winner of the Think Before You Link Sweepstakes. The surprise assembly featured special guests including Alicia Kozakiewicz, an international Internet safety advocate with the mission of protecting children against predatory crime to inspire a difference, and Gary Davis, Chief Consumer Security Evangelist at Intel Security, who spoke about the importance of digital safety, best practices to stay safer online, and ways students, parents, and educators can utilize the Intel Security Digital Safety Program to improve their everyday online habits. At the conclusion of the assembly, the school was presented with a $10,000 check.
"Through the Intel Security Digital Safety Program, my students will learn valuable skills that will help protect them in today's digital world," said Dan Cox, principal of Namaqua Elementary School. "I am thrilled to advance our school's digital safety program through the Think Before You Link Sweepstakes and provide our students with resources that will educate them about appropriate online behavior."
The sweepstakes also included an educator drawing that awards one grand prize winner a trip for two to the 2015 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in Philadelphia this summer; one second place winner a two-in-one tablet/notebook; and ten honorable mentions a one-year subscription to McAfee LiveSafe™ service, one of the leading digital security solutions for consumers.
The grand prize and second place educator winners include:
1st Place: Karen Wallis, Na'Alehu Elementary & Intermediate School in Na'Alehu, Hawaii.
2nd Place: Laura Jankowski, Philadelphia Academy Charter School in Philadelphia, Pa.
"Our school is the southernmost school in the United States serving a range of communities, including very remote and rural areas with limited electrical, water, and internet sources," said Karen Wallis, special education teacher at Na'alehu Elementary School in Na'alehu, Hawaii. "In many cases, our students' first interaction with technology is at school, and as educators we are responsible for teaching our students how to navigate the internet more safely, securely, and ethically. I am very excited about the opportunity to attend ISTE and bring new educational technology knowledge back to my school."
Launched in November 2014, the Intel Security Digital Safety Program equips educators, students and parents with some of the tools they need to be more confident, safer digital citizens. The program provides educators with standards-aligned resources, including self-paced lessons for use in the classroom to help engage students on timely, relevant topics like Internet safety and security. The program's interactive student modules teach children ways to help keep personally identifiable information (PII) private online, create stronger passwords, and deal with cyberbullies. Additionally, the program offers at-home resources for parents to reinforce the importance of online safety to their children.
"Intel has a long history of creating reliable technology to enhance the everyday user experience -- whether at home, in the classroom, or playing outdoors," said Gary Davis. "With every new, connected device that hits the market, there is a serious need to teach families and educators how best to use their technology safely and ethically. It is very exciting to announce the winners of our Think Before You Link sweepstakes, because it means we're one step closer to creating a safer digital space for the generations that will follow."
"Discovery Education is committed to providing students nationwide with engaging, interactive curriculum and resources that empower them to be responsible digital citizens," said Lori McFarling, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President, Discovery Education. "We are proud to partner with Intel Security to reward these outstanding educators and schools for their efforts in promoting online safety."
For additional information on the Intel Security Digital Safety Initiative and to see a complete list of winners, visit http://www.thinkbeforeyoulinkinschool.com/enter.