County Attorney launches children’s ‘summer learning series’

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is launching a new Summer Learning Series for children ages 6-12.

Community Affairs Coordinators will be delivering curriculum-based safety programming at summer camps and other youth organizations throughout the valley. The programs are based on the nationally recognized KidSmartz and NetSmartz programs developed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to a press release.

“We want to take advantage of summer break when kids have more free time to learn about challenges they may face growing up,” stated County Attorney Bill Montgomery, in the release. “This program gives them some tools to make better decisions and avoid dangerous situations.”

KidSmartz is a program geared toward younger kids and focuses on tips to avoid being a target for abduction, recognizing when touching may be inappropriate and how to tell who is a trusted adult that the child can go to if something happens that seems wrong.

NetSmartz provides age-appropriate materials to help teach children how to be safer on and offline. The program feature lessons about safely using the internet, cell phones, online gaming, messaging apps and social networks.

Children also learn the importance of making good choices and avoiding risky behavior. With interactive materials such as videos, games, activity cards and presentations, these programs entertain while providing invaluable education.

The Summer Learning Series is an addition to the education and awareness programs MCAO provides for kids and parents each year. Another great program getting underway is Safe Kids Summer. MCAO staff volunteers are heading to community pools and parks to provide children and parents with information about staying safe at home, in public and on the internet. At these events, kids can play games, answer age-appropriate safety questions and win prizes.

Dates, locations and directions for Safe Kids Summer events are listed on the Community Events Calendar at MaricopaCountyAttorney.org.

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