MONTPELIER, Vt. – Project Safe Expression online For Internet Empowerment, or, SELFIE, is a program developed by Prevent Child Abuse Vermont (PCAVT) after multiple Vermont schools reached out requesting sexting prevention education. Research indicates that nearly one in four Vermont middle school students and 16% of Vermont high school students experience cyber-bullying.
Thanks to a generous donation from the Canaday Family Charitable Trust, PCAVT will be able to bring this program to ten schools or youth serving organizations in Chittenden, Windham, and Windsor counties. The program will be provided free of charge. Inquiries about scheduling can be made to Marcie Hambrick at email@example.com.
Project SELFIE has a two-pronged approach: building adult protective skills and student empowerment. The program includes one adult training that covers how adults can protect youth from all kinds of digital risk, such as online grooming, online pornography, and sexting. It helps adults understand their important role in monitoring and guiding youth in their digital decisions. The student empowerment is accomplished through a two-lesson series for middle and high school students on how youth can manage their online presence in healthy ways. The student lessons are developmentally appropriate, trauma informed, and cover how to build resilience to the social pressures inherent in digitally facilitated relationships.