PHOENIX, Oct. 11, 2005 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) has partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) to co-develop the Qwest Connected Family Online Classroom. The Arizona Parent and Teacher Association (AZ PTA), Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, and members of the Arizona Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) participated in the kick off of this statewide parent and guardian education program.
According to a U.S. Department of Justice study, of the estimated 24 million child Internet users, one in five children is sexually solicited online - yet only one in four told a parent or guardian.
?Qwest believes education and prevention are the keys to safer use of the Internet as more children use it to submit homework and communicate with friends and teachers. As a result, we?re asking parents to visit the online classroom and take 10 minutes to complete the Parent Safety-Net Test,? said Pat Quinn, Qwest Arizona state president. ?Our goal is to help at least 10,000 parents in the next year increase their understanding of the Internet and its potential risks.?
The Qwest Connected Family Online Classroom was co-developed by NCMEC and can be found at www.incredibleinternet.com/onlinesafety. It features:
- Expert tips, articles, Web seminars, tests and downloadable safety kits to help parents and guardians understand the Internet.
- The Connected Family Kit ? available in English and Spanish ? to help families get the most out of technology while using it safely and effectively.
- The Parent Safety-Net Test ? also available in English and Spanish ? to educate parents and guardians on how to keep their children safer when using the Internet.
?Our partnership with Qwest focuses on educating parents and guardians about the importance of taking responsibility for their childrens? online lives,? said former Arizona U.S. Senator and Chairman of NCMEC?s board of directors, Dennis DeConcini. ?The Qwest Connected Family Online Classroom was designed to help do that. By providing families with Internet safety information we can educate them about the dangers that their children may encounter while being online.?
Through a $50,000 grant presented to the Arizona PTA by Quinn, seminars about online safety will be offered to parents and guardians at meetings throughout the state during the next year. The online classroom is one of several projects Qwest is sponsoring to help the Arizona PTA celebrate its 100th anniversary. A mobile education center will be visiting Arizona locations, such as CompUSA, the Arizona State Fair and other community events.
A link to the online classroom will be featured on the Attorney General?s and ICAC?s respective Web sites. Qwest is committed to meet the needs of ICAC and gives high priority to subpoena requests pertaining to Internet crimes against children to assist law enforcement in the prosecution of online predators.
For more information, or to request a Qwest Connected Family Online Classroom presentation, visit www.incredibleinternet.com/onlinesafety.
Qwest Communications International Inc. is a leading provider of high-speed Internet, data, video and voice services. With approximately 40,000 employees, Qwest is committed to the ?Spirit of Service? and providing world-class services that exceed customers? expectations for quality, value and reliability. For more information, please visit the Qwest Web site at www.qwest.com.
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
NCMEC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. NCMEC's congressionally mandated CyberTipline, a reporting mechanism for child sexual exploitation, has handled more than 335,000 leads. Since its establishment in 1984, NCMEC has assisted law enforcement with more than 116,000 missing child cases, resulting in the recovery of more than 94,000 children. For more information about NCMEC, call its toll-free hotline at 1 800-THE-LOST or visit www.missingkids.com.