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18th September 2019: Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google, has announced a €1 million grant for Barnardos to help the charity enable children in Ireland to interact safely and responsibly online. The grant was announced today by Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, during Mr Pichai’s visit to local schools, St Patrick’s Girls’ & Boys’ National School in Ringsend with Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, TD.
As a result of the grant, a 4-year education programme will be rolled out in schools across the country. Over 4,000 workshops will be held in 1,000 schools, with Google and Barnardos aiming to reach up to 10,000 students in the first year of the programme and over 75,000 students overall.
In conjunction with the launch of the Barnardos grant, Google also unveiled its Be Internet Legends programme, which is designed to provide the necessary online safety resources to parents, children and teachers who are not able to access the Barnardos programme in person, or who feel that they need further support.
Commenting, Minister McHugh said, “As technology continues to evolve and integrate more seamlessly into school children’s lives, it’s now more important than ever that we help children be safe online. While the internet provides endless educational opportunities, we cannot be blind to its dangers and it’s crucial that we strive not only to protect our children online but also to educate them on how to protect themselves. The Google and Barnardos partnership on online safety is a positive example of what can be done when the private and charity sectors join forces to achieve a common goal.”
Speaking at the launch, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google said, “Through programs such as our Be Internet Legends effort, we are empowering young people to be safe explorers of our digital world. We're proud to be working with Barnardos to bring online safety education to more young people in Ireland."
Suzanne Connolly, CEO, Barnardos said, “We are delighted to partner with Google.org to roll out this important programme to schools across Ireland. The digital world can pose significant risk to children if they do not know how to recognise inappropriate material or react to suspicious behaviour online. It is our hope that through this partnership, we will equip children, parents and teachers with the skills, resources and knowledge to ensure they can safely explore and experience the positive opportunities the internet offers – all while minimising the risks.”
The programme will be rolled out from September 2019 and schools can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to enquire about booking a workshop for their school. Parents, children and teachers can get started on the Be Internet Legends programme from today.