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FOP donates Internet safety materials to schools [Greensburg Daily News, Ind. :: ]
[January 23, 2014]

FOP donates Internet safety materials to schools [Greensburg Daily News, Ind. :: ]

(Greensburg Daily News (IN) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 23--GREENSBURG -- Just in time for North Decatur Elementary School's one-to-one iPad initiative rollout, the Greensburg Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has donated funds that will be used to purchase materials that encourage Internet safety for elementary students in the Decatur County Schools System.

Outgoing FOP President Steve Snyder, a deputy with the Decatur County Sheriff's Department, presented a check in the amount of $1,280.75 to county school officials Wednesday morning that will be used to ensure each student at North Decatur and South Decatur Elementary Schools stays safe online.

The educational materials, designed for students in kindergarten through sixth grade, dovetail with the recent rollout of iPad devices for all students at each county school.

The iPad initiative is focused on using modern computer technology to help students learn. Each iPad will be accompanied by a safety book, which uses crosswords, puzzles and cartoons to teach children the safest ways to learn and interact with others online.

The results of the iPad program thus far, according to SDES assistant principal Debbie Reynolds, have been more than positive.

"Parents love it, kids love it," Reynolds said at the Decatur County Community Schools administration building Wednesday morning. "We just want to thank the FOP for supporting this." Reynolds said students are already making good use of the iPads. She said one student spent a recent snow day practicing her spelling homework.

Students are prohibited from accessing the device's app store, which is an electronic market users can access to download games and other programs. School administrators are also able to keep track of every website the students visit on the iPad and iPad minis distributed, ensuring the devices are used for education instead of playing games.

In a world where social media can reveal details about the lives of individuals that might previously have been known only to family members and close friends, the FOP feels teaching Internet safety tips will go a long way in making sure students are protected while online.

Greensburg Police Officer Dave Wilson, the FOP's new treasurer, spoke of the dangers of putting one's personal information on the Internet -- and the virtual impossibility of removing it once it's there.

"If it's [personal information] on there, it's not going away," Wilson said. "It's best not to get too personal online." Donations from the public to the FOP went into the local lodge's general fund. Additionally, fundraisers such as the popular gun raffle broadcast on WTRE and last year's raffle at the Decatur County Fair helped contribute to the cause.

Snyder, Wilson, Deputy Mike Woodhull and Greensburg Police Captain Fred Huser were all on-hand Wednesday to present the check to Reynolds and DCCS superintendent Johnny Budd. Sheriff Greg Allen and DCCS School Resource Officer Rob Duckworth also attended the donation.

The police officers at the DCCS building Wednesday morning felt the purchase of the safety materials were a perfect complement to the schools' fledgling iPad program.

"We all thought this was a great thing to do to help the kids," Wilson said.

Snyder, who leaves the presidency of the FOP to fellow deputy Kevin Rohr, also took time to discuss last month's successful "Shop with a Cop" program, which provides clothing and toys to children of needy local families.

Deputy Snyder told the Daily News 81 families participated in the program in December. The funds for the Shop with a Cop program are kept separate from the lodge's general fund. Shop with a Cop is financed primarily through donations from the public.

Snyder and Wilson said donations are accepted year-round at the Greensburg Police Department and the Decatur County Sheriff's Office. Donations may also be mailed to either of those locations.

Contact: Brent Brown 812-663-3111 x7056; ___ (c)2014 the Greensburg Daily News (Greensburg, Ind.) Visit the Greensburg Daily News (Greensburg, Ind.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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