As parents, educators, publishers, media producers, advocates and policy makers, we declare:
As the use of smart phones, tablets, and other digital devices become part of the lives of young children, a new avenue for teaching and learning is emerging. As children use digital devices at ever younger ages, learning how to be safe and responsible online must become an important part of parenting and classroom curriculum.
Social-emotional skill building that includes learning how to be responsible digital citizens is a necessary part of early childhood/primary education. There is a need for high-quality print resources about digital citizenship, such as picture books and easy readers that are good literature as well as being developmentally appropriate for young children.
There is a need, too, for resources to help parents and family members, caregivers, and teachers to help children navigate the digital world in safe and responsible ways. It is important to be Right from the Start when helping children develop a strong sense of knowing right from wrong while online and off.
Join us by adding your name to this vital national initiative.
We are asking thought leaders like yourself to help us to help children develop the essential social and emotional skills they need to stay safe and responsible while online.
To meet this goal, we are looking to engage:
Media literacy organizations and teachers, to promote the positive and responsible use of online learning at home and in school.
Early childhood professional organizations, to foster policy and best practices regarding pro-social and responsible use of digital media in grades Pre-K to 3.
Teacher educators, to incorporate issues of responsible, pro-social online behavior in their preservice/in-service early education courses.
Parent organizations, to spread the word about the new resources that are available to help children learn the safe and responsible use of digital media.
Publishers, to develop picture books and trans-media classroom materials that promote appropriate social behavior for classrooms in grades PreK to 3.
Producers of children’s media, to create programming that models adults and children who act with empathy and kindness in the real world and online.
Policy makers, to incorporate responsible digital citizenship into their current and future policy development.