This June, Killarney Secondary Grade 11 and 12 Family Management students headed out into nearby elementary schools to help teach younger students about how they can stay safe online.
The students are part of the iMentorship program, which creates a peer-to-peer mentoring environment. Secondary students engage elementary students with interactive and engaging games and activities to get them thinking about online privacy, cyber bullying and problematic online behavior. Activities included video tutorial, a quiz show and a board game.
Killarney teacher Denise North says she's been pleased with how the message around online safety has sunk in.
"Because it is so hands on and interactive, it isn't preachy. It is interactive and geared for that age level," she says. "The little ones are totally enthusiastic and engaged. It gives them an opportunity to have a voice when they might not otherwise have one."
During their visit to MacCorkindale Elementary, the Killarney mentors spoke to two classes of Grade 3-5 students. This was their second time presenting to students, their first being at Champlain Heights Elementary.
Killarney Grade 11 student, Kelly Chan, says the program is critical for younger students growing up in an age where almost everything is instantaneously posted online.
"Usually friends will post a photo without consent and they are embarrassing photos and it just doesn't look good," she says. "I like teaching younger grades about internet safety. The kids will have to use these skills in the future, and by teaching them about social media now, it is a lot better."