Build-A-Bear Workshop has announced that it will support Internet Safety Awareness month for the second year running in both its physical retail outlets and its virtual world, Build-A-Bearville. Throughout October Build-A-Bear will promote Internet safety with in-store public service announcements from ChloeRocks, star of the Build-A-Bearville Chloe Show. Other featured special guests will appear in Build-A-Bearville to discuss the importance of playing safely online.
"Keeping kids safe online is an ongoing priority for our company," said Dave Finnegan, Chief Information Bear of Build-A-Bear Workshop, in a press statement. "It takes all of us working together to maintain a safe online environment for children – a company that cares, parents who are engaged and aware of their children's online activities, and children who are educated. We are pleased to take part in this important initiative."
Build-A-Bearville will also play an anti-bullying song to be recorded by "up-and-coming pop stars." A meter in the Town Square of Build-A-Bearville will count the number of virtual citizens who take the Safety Pledge. When the meter is full, all Build-A-Bearville users will receive a new animation for their avatars. Tips for kids will include how to create safe passwords, how to be kind online, and how to stop and block cyberbullies.
Citizens will also be able to take the Cyber Safety Quiz to learn more about steps they can take in order to remain safe online. When a citizen takes the quiz, an email will be sent to their parents congratulating them and offering tips for getting involved in their child's safety online. Build-A-Bearville will host tips for parents on its Website, on topics including helping kids play safe online, identifying cyberbullies, protecting passwords, and setting rules for online behavior.
Parents can get involved in Build-A-Bearville by joining the Parent Advisory Panel, a parent group that is asked to review products and give input on services and online features. Parents join by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Year round, kids can join the Junior CyBear Guide Program to try and help keep Build-A-Bearville safe. The program lets qualified members of the community act as Guides, answering questions and giving tours to new users.
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