NEWS

For Immediate Release
May 20, 2010

Illinois students help spread Internet safety message


Attorney General Madigan and State Superintendent Koch name best poster and digital projects promoting online safety

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Thursday recognized the student winners of the first statewide Internet safety contest to raise awareness about potential dangers associated with Internet usage and prevent the misuse of technology. Students in grades first through 12th were encouraged to submit either a poster or electronic project addressing Internet safety and specifically, cyberbullying, as part of the contest sponsored by ISBE, the Illinois Attorney General and the Governor’s Offices.

"We all have heard the tragic consequences of cyberbullying," said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. "These projects will help remind students to be as careful on the Internet as they would be crossing a street or talking to someone in person. Having students spread the message of online safety helps bring more attention to this important topic."

Seven students who earned first place in the contest were recognized during a ceremony at the Governor’s mansion. The contest follows a law that went into effect Jan. 1, 2009, requiring school districts to incorporate Internet safety into the curriculum at least once each school year beginning in grade 3.

"I want to congratulate these creative students for lending their talents to help others across the state understand the importance of smart Internet use," said Attorney General Lisa Madigan. "Kids today are fully engaged with technology, but that engagement comes with risks and potential harms. One of the best ways to promote safe online behavior is by having students spread the word to their friends and classmates."

Under state law each local school district determines how to include lessons into the classroom but some recommended topics include the safe and responsible use of social networking websites, chat rooms, bulletin boards and other means of communication on the Internet. It is also recommended that instruction includes information on recognizing, avoiding and reporting online solicitation by sexual predators, recognizing and reporting online harassment and cyberbullying and knowing the risks of transmitting personal information on the Internet.

Winners of the Internet Safety contest were judged by staff from the three agencies as well directors from Illinois Learning Technology Centers. The winners are:

Grades 1-3 – Poster

First Place

Sophia Short, Illini Central Grade School, Mason City Illini Central CUSD 189

Second Place

Emily Cox, Astoria CUSD 1, Astoria

Grades 4-6 - Poster

First Place

Reilly Stiver, Lincoln Magnet School, Springfield School District 186

Second Place

Sarah Cameron, Seneca Grade School, Seneca Grade School District 170

Third Place

Cherokee Southerd, Astoria CUSD 1, Astoria

Grades 4-6 - Electronic Media (Underlined Videos can be viewed with Real Player or Windows Media Player)

First Place

Alexis Williams and Isaiah Logan and Nathan Chiti, Lindsay Elementary School, Springfield School District 186

Second Place

Alex Kibort, Millie Farley and Tyler Hunder, Smithton Elementary, Smithton CCSD 130, Smithton

Third Place

Klye Sigmon, Seneca Grade School, Seneca School District 170, Seneca

Grades 7-8 – Poster

First Place

Jacob Schisler, Astoria CUSD 1, Astoria

Second Place

O’Sheonia Walton, Aamber Lott, Jasmine Ross and Sierra Fields, Lincoln Magnet School, Sprinfield School District 186, Springfield

Third Place

Yazmin Ramos, ASPIRA Haugan Middle School, ASPIRA Charter School, Chicago

Grades 7-8 - Electronic Media (Underlined Videos can be viewed with Real Player or Windows Media Player)

First Place

Katlyn Gerdes, Dani Zerfas and Sarah Sepanski, Franklin Middle School, Springfield School District 186, Springfield

Second Place

Betsy De La Cruz, ASPIRA Haughan Middle School, ASPIRA Charter School, Chicago

Third Place

Brian Shepard, John Rogers, Evan Aud, Smithton Elementary, Smithton CCSD 130, Smithton

Grades 9-12 - Poster

First Place

Samantha Miranda and Christina McGrath, Queen of Peace High School, Archdiocese of Chicago, Burbank

Second Place

Zach Wilke, Galesburg High School, Galesburg CUSD 205, Galesburg

Third Place

Eva Decorie, Westville High School, Westville CUSD 2, Westville

Grades 9-12 - Electronic Media(Underlined Videos can be viewed with Real Player or Windows Media Player)

First Place

Kit Willadsen, Stuart Stoffregen, Anton Malovany and Conor Westrate, Geneva High School, Geneva CUSD 304, Geneva

Second Place

CiCi Bledsoe, Galesburg High School, Galesburg CUSD 205, Galesburg

Third Place

Clinton Hammond, Astoria CUSD 1, Astoria