Early Monday morning, the sixth grade class at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School filed into the Conmy Center for a special presentation. Moments later, Attorney General Pam Bondi greeted the group along with President of AT&T Florida, Marshall Criser III. ”Since you all are in sixth grade, and have access to a world of content on your iPads, I have a little pop-quiz for you,” teased the Attorney General. ”What is the state bird of Florida?” The students were immediately relieved of any nerves and shouted popcorn style answers to a series of questions about Florida trivia.
The real purpose of the presentation, however, involved a more serious topic: Internet Safety. The school partnered with Step Up for Students, AT&T, and the State Attorney General’s Office to create a dynamic lesson about the importance of Cyber Safety and making smart choices when using technology. During the interactive presentation, the Attorney General’s Office taught the sixth grade class how to protect their personal information on the Internet and how to recognize and avoid online predators. The group also discussed the increasingly prevalent cyber bullying problem that many adolescents and teens now face.
“Today’s youth have more access to the Internet than ever before, which is a good thing,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi. “However, we need to make sure we are taking every measure possible to educate our young people on the best ways to protect themselves from online danger. Through education, we are equipping children with the tools they need to safely navigate the Internet.”
During the event, AT&T announced their most recent contribution of $3.5 million to Step Up For Students, a scholarship program that enables low-income families in Florida to send their children to a school of choice, all thanks to contributions from corporations like AT&T. Approximately 32 students attend Our Lady of Lourdes on a Step Up scholarship, and event guests had the opportunity to hear from one family that benefits from the program.
This contribution of $3.5 million brings the total amount of AT&T’s contribution to the scholarship program to $15.7 million since joining as a corporate partner 2003. In total, AT&T’s contributions have funded scholarships for more than 3,900 low-income children.
“As a part of our continuing support of Step Up For Students, we are proud to provide an educational event for students that promotes online safety,” said Marshall Criser III, AT&T Florida President. “Through our involvement with the program since 2003, AT&T has helped more than 3,900 children across the state to find the right school environment for their unique learning needs. We believe our contribution is an investment in the futures of these students.”
“It is amazing to see what these students can do when they have the opportunity to shine in the learning environment that fits the way they learn,” Step Up For Students President Doug Tuthill said. “Thanks to our generous partners like AT&T, we see more and more success stories every school year. AT&T’s commitment to these children is commendable, and we are grateful for their support.”
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School is blessed to participate in the Step Up for Students program, furthering our mission of providing affordable education to all students who wish to attend our great school.