Folly Quarter seventh-grader promotes safety on the Internet

March 25, 2004

Moni Sallam, a computer-savvy seventh-grader at Folly Quarter Middle School, is promoting Internet safety for kids.

Inspired by televised training on teaching children to be careful online, Moni, who is 12, organized the "i-Safe Type III Peer Mentor Committee," using materials provided by the nonprofit foundation whose training he had seen on Tech TV.

Two weeks ago, with the help of Gifted and Talented Program resource teacher Kelly Adolphi Reichart, Moni said he and committee members Jesse Martin and Steven Kang held "the first ever Internet Safety Week in Maryland" at their school.

"He's our star!" said Sacha Hope, public relations and media manager for i-Safe. "We made him our Mentor of the Month, because we were just so impressed. He really wanted to make sure that other kids knew this information, that nothing bad would happen to any of his friends."

Armed with suggestions from i-Safe and ideas of its own, the committee signed up 300 pupils at an Internet safety lunch information table. The children were asked to report an important fact they learned from an i-Safe pamphlet to receive a prize -- a T-shirt, mouse pad or flashlight.

The boys sponsored an Internet safety poster contest. "More than 90 kids entered and we had a great winner, who got a flash plug-in disk," Moni said.

Then came a professional development seminar, led by i-Safe educator Jennie Lintz.

"We got to reach a lot of educators that can take the program to schools across the state," Hope said.

"That same night, we had a parents night, with guest speakers -- one from the FBI, one from the Maryland attorney general's office -- and Miss Lintz gave a special parent presentation," Moni said.

The week culminated in a meeting for community leaders, with speeches by Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr., County Executive James N. Robey and other public officials. Dels. Gail H. Bates and Warren E. Miller presented Moni with a citation for his effort from the Maryland General Assembly. Representatives from the school system and police department attended.

"Its been really fun actually, and I've learned a lot -- long-term planning, making business phone calls, presenting in front of a professional audience," Moni said later, "and, hmmm, orchestrating a statewide event."

-- Fay Lande

Basket bingo tomorrow at Lisbon fire hall

The Lisbon Volunteer Fire Company Inc. will hold basket bingo at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the fire hall, 1330 Woodbine Road, Lisbon. Doors open at 6 p.m. The kitchen will be open.

Admission is $12 in advance (including one free game); $15 at the door. Twenty games and door prizes are included.

Information: Joan Bennett, 410-489-4933 or Doris Bowman, 410-489-4821.

Military

Completes training: Army Pfc. Wesley W. Miller, son of Lois Miller of Sykesville, has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

Birth

Ryan James: To Greg and Nicole Wist of Westminster on March 16.

Around Town

Stories sought: Atholton High School senior Mitchell Schwenz, an intern with Florence Bain Senior Center, is seeking people ages 50 and older who would like to tell their stories and share memories of life in the 20th century with Glenelg Country School's eighth-graders. Call Schwenz by Monday at 410-313-7289.

Scholarship: Howard County Youth Program, a nonprofit sports association, will award a $1,000 Christopher Kelley Memorial Scholarship to a high school senior who has participated in HCYP-sponsored sports -- baseball, softball, volleyball and basketball. The scholarship, in its 11th year, commemorates the life of Christopher Kelley, a Glenwood Middle School eighth-grader killed in a traffic accident in 1989. Application forms for the scholarship, due by April 23, are available in high school guidance offices or by contacting Stephen Lee, chairman of the scholarship committee: 410-995-4925.

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