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The Simon Fraser University (SFU) Surrey – TD Community Engagement Centre connects people and organizations in Surrey with SFU researchers. Their approach focuses on collaboration, the sharing of resources and the co-creation of ideas and solutions to build more resilient communities and support children, youth, families and newcomers to Canada. In partnership with the Surrey School District, they identified a need to equip children in grades 5-7 with the digital citizenship skills to use the internet safely in an increasingly digital world. Empower MEdia is a free after-school program where high school and post-secondary mentors engage children on topics like health and well-being online, privacy and safety, cyberbullying, news/media literacy and social media wellness in ways that encourage creativity and empowerment.


25 children in grades 5-7 from two elementary schools were recruited to attend the program. They demonstrated their critical thinking skills, developed relationships with their mentors and engaged in discussions, and used fun learning tools like Canva and Minecraft Education to develop a deeper understanding the cyber social world. Ultimately, researchers found that Empower MEdia gave children the tools they need to preserve their online privacy, safety and mental health. One student participant shared that thanks to what they learned in the program, they had the knowledge and confidence to report a cyberbullying incident they experienced. The program will continue for the 2023-2024 school year.







  Courtesy of SFU Surrey

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