12:18 PM

Keeping children safe online

Learning to safely and responsibly navigate the internet and the digital community that goes with it is a life lesson often learned the hard way. But imagine if children received skills at an early age that set them up for success in the digital world.  

That’s what Nationwide’s Women in Technology group, an extension of the company’s Technology Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, worked on this summer. More than 20 associates across the Fortune 100 company’s technology organization helped nearly 100 children (grades 1 – 8) at a Columbus-area summer camp dive into digital health, literacy, responsibility, and many other key skills for understanding the value of digital media. St. Stephens Community House, the host of the camp, has been serving the Linden community of Columbus since 1919 and has a partnership with Nationwide.  

“Whether it’s lessons on cyberbullying, privacy and security, or just understanding when to take a break from devices, these children are learning the foundational elements of a healthy relationship with our ever-growing digital world,” says Vernon Eudell, Nationwide’s associate vice president of legal & human resources technology and the executive sponsor of the program.  

While the full summer camp at St. Stephens is eight weeks long, the digital citizenship “sprint” is a two-week long deep dive in which Nationwide volunteers prepare the program’s teachers to deliver content and lead conversations with the kids. Additionally, Nationwide donated laptops to help improve the summer camp student-to-machine ratio from 3:1 to 2:1.  

“This is yet another example of Nationwide making a difference in our community. We’re using our expertise to help children use online tools with confidence and care,” said Kristen Elliott, consultant and program planning lead in partnership with St. Stephens.  

As each grade shared what they learned when the program wrapped up July 29, Nationwide leaders served as judges for the show-and-tell session and awarded the winning group with a pizza party.  

“I was so proud to see and hear what they had learned, and of course a pizza party is a classic summer camp incentive,” Elliott said.  

In total, Nationwide provided more than 35 hours of curriculum for St. Stephens instructors to use, and Nationwide volunteers helped support the instructors and students in the classroom as they walked through each topic.  

To learn more about Nationwide’s partnership with local communities, visit the Nationwide Corporate Citizenship page.