September 24, 2009

 4NetSafety(SM) program provides tips everyone can use

ATLANTA, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a year’s time, approximately one in three teens experience online harassment and 32 percent of teens clear their browser history to hide what they do online from their parents. To answer the growing issues surrounding Internet safety, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) announces a new partnership with Sprint to promote online safety resources for kids, teens and parents.

Sprint’s 4NetSafety(SM) program aims to open the lines of communication about Internet safety between young people and the adults who care for them. The online resource offers free tools from experts that address the perils that young people commonly encounter online and encourage positive dialogue about Internet safety. BGCA will make these educational tools available to its 4.5 million youth served through membership and community outreach. In addition, Sprint has provided funding to BGCA to create additional Internet Safety materials for them to use in the Clubs to educate both youth and parents.

"The Internet can be a wonderful resource for kids, but it has always been our goal to teach our youth how to navigate the Web safely and appropriately," said Dan Rauzi, senior director of technology services and programs at BGCA. "Sprint and BGCA teamed up to raise awareness about a prime concern of ours - the importance of a healthy and safe virtual life for America’s youth."

Some startling statistics about how parents supervise their children’s online time were revealed in a BGCA survey of young people. More than half of those surveyed said their parents never ask them about whom they are talking to on the Internet and 55 percent said their parents never surfed the Internet with them. Through its collaboration with Sprint, BGCA will bring attention to the interactive, age-appropriate safety resources available to assist parents in protecting their children against online dangers.

"Sprint is pleased to be entering into this partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America," said Debby Ballard, director of community affairs-Sprint. "Internet safety is an area that is very important to Sprint, as evidenced by our 4NetSafety program, and our partnership with BGCA allows us to add to and raise additional awareness about these valuable resources."

Boys & Girls Clubs and Sprint will host five safety fairs across the country in hopes of teaching parents, youth and community leaders simple precautions to help children have a safer online experience. From cyberbullying to texting inappropriate images to cheating with technology -- BGCA and Sprint will address the various issues that affect today’s youth.

Sprint funds its 4NetSafety program through Sprint Project Connect, a wireless recycling program.

For information on how to recycle your previously used wireless device, see the 4NetSafety website.

For more information or to access tips and resources visit or


Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving almost 49 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2009; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The company’s customer-focused strategy has led to improved first call resolution and customer care satisfaction scores. For more information, visit

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America ( has helped kids "Be Great," providing hope and opportunity for those who need it most. Today, more than 4,300 Clubs serve some 4.5 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Known as The Positive Place for Kids, Boys & Girls Clubs can be found throughout the country and on U.S. military bases worldwide, providing young people 6-18 years old with guidance-oriented character development programs conducted by trained, professional staff. Clubs positively impact lives and help young people reach their full potential as productive, caring citizens. Key programs emphasize leadership development; education and career exploration; community service; technology training; financial literacy; health and life skills; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; and family outreach. In a recent Harris Survey of Club alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.