The 2014 Online Safety Contest is up and ready to go!
Follow this link to solve The Case of the iPhone Thief
Facility Update: Our in-house programs are temporarily cancelled.
Unfortunately, our building has sustained significant damage due to the flood.
We will be offering some online programming in the interim.
We will be releasing more information as it become available.
Thanks so much for your understanding during this time!
The Latest From The Blog
Are you being cyberbullied…is one of your friends…a sibling…your child? How would you know?
Cyberbullying is where an individual is targeted by others through the use of technology like cellphones or computers. It is intended to embarrass, humiliate, torment, threaten or harass an individual repeatedly. Usually, it is sustained and repeated over a period of time, and unlike face-to-face bullying, it can reach a victim anywhere at any time. Because of advances in technology, it can reach a huge audience very quickly.
All bullying is dangerous! It is about power and the abuse of power and its effects are immediate and can be long-lasting.
Not only is cyberbullying harmful and hurtful to the victim, sometimes, it is actually illegal. When the bullying reaches the level of criminal harassment or uttering threats, criminal charges can be laid against the bullies, even if they are underage.
We all need to understand the warning signs of both cyberbullying and being a victim of cyberbullying. Visit Get Cyber Safe to learn more about the signs of bullying and being bullied.
Talk openly with your friends and family about issues like cyberbullying. If you’re a parent, learn about what your child does online, set ground rules and teach safe online behavior.
Victims of cyberbullying often try to solve the problem themselves; this rarely works. If you know someone who is being bullied, help them understand what is happening and encourage them to address it by reporting the bullying to a trusted adult.
Bystanders, both active and passive also play a critical role when it comes to cyberbullying. A passive bystander is aware of the bullying, but does nothing to stop it. Their silence allows the bullying to continue.
An active bystander joins into the bullying by passing on a photo or message, giving the bully a wider audience.
Regardless of the role an individual plays in the bullying process, help educate them about the harm cyberbullying can do. It is everyone’s responsibility to stop this behavior.
We hope your 2014 will be an exciting year in many ways! For the team at YouthLink, we KNOW it will be an exciting year. We will soon finalize the design concept of our new facility being constructed in northeast Calgary on the campus of Calgary Police Headquarters. We are passionate about creating this innovative new centre, which will be the first of its kind in Canada.
We, along with our amazing volunteers, look forward to reaching out to Calgary’s youth, parents, teachers, community organizations, and our generous supporters for input as we develop and expand our program offerings. These will include the YouthLink Calgary Police School, intriguing after-school programs and learning opportunities created exclusively for adults, just to name a few. Our programs will focus on crime prevention, education, safety, and early intervention.
Looking back to the year that was, few would have been able to predict the dramatic change in circumstance and outcome in 2013. YouthLink rang in 2013 with a significant transition. I had the privilege of taking on the role of Executive Director, and began to lead a dynamic team with a renewed vision.
Then the flood of 2013 occurred. This will go down in history as one of the worst natural disasters Calgary has seen in over 100 years. A disaster of this magnitude affected almost everyone in our community; YouthLink was no exception.
Like many organizations, we worked feverishly to safeguard our property against the flood. Late in the afternoon on Friday, June 21, water was spotted on the floor of YouthLink’s archival storage area. Within approximately 30 minutes, water was rising around our ankles, and due to safety concerns we were evacuated from the building. Fortunately we were able to save 95 per cent of our precious museum collections.
The flood forced us to make the difficult decision to close the Interpretive Centre at our downtown location. We suspended field trips to the Centre and are now delivering select programming through outreach and electronic means until the new facility is complete. We would like to thank our clients and supporters for their understanding during this time of transition, especially the Calgary-and-area schools who traditionally attended our “Where’s the Evidence” and KIDO programs, and of course all of our dedicated volunteers.
YouthLink is pleased to report we are very close to achieving our fundraising goals through our capital campaign. For this we are so grateful to all of our individual and corporate donors, the Calgary Police Foundation and the Calgary Police Service. That said, as with any charitable organizations, there’s always a need for more, so any support you can provide is greatly appreciated!
We are very excited about what the new YouthLink will have to offer Calgarians, and we look forward to opening our new facility early in 2015. With your gracious support, we are thrilled to have this incredible opportunity to build something very special for youth and families.
We wish you a wondrous 2014!
Tara Robinson, Executive Director
Giving the gift of talk this season? Things to consider before your child gets a phone….
Did you know the average age of a cell phone user in North America is 11 years, and some users are as young as 6?
What many parents tend to forget is that a cell phone today is more a computer than a phone. We need to make sure our kids learn how to make smart choices when online.
Teach your kids these ground rules to help them stay safe online:
- Don’t give out personal information online without your parent’s permission. This includes your name, phone number, address, email address, school, picture, credit card information, etc.
- When online, use a pretend name or nickname that does not reveal anything about you. A good example of a username is something like samtheman. A bad example would be sammy13.
- When you create a password, make sure it is easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess. Do not tell anyone your password except for your parents.
- Do not open emails, pictures or games from people you do not know and trust.
- Do not send rude emails or threats to anyone.
- Don’t buy anything online without your parents’ permission.
- Make sure what you write is appropriate to post online.
- If you make posts or comments, always tell the truth.
- Remember that online work is not private and anyone can read it or see it. Once a picture, message or other information is sent, you can rarely retrieve it fully, nor can you control who receives it, or how long it will live online.
Digital citizenship is the principles of appropriate, responsible use of technology and it is a way to understand how to safely exist in a society filled with technology. Do your part to ensure your children understand both the risks and benefits of living in an online world.