LEVITTOWN >> The Network of Victims Assistance (NOVA) always wants students to be the safest version of themselves whether online or in person. In order to help Neil A. Armstrong Middle School students feel prepared in a myriad of topics, NOVA gave virtual presentations earlier this month on digital footprint, internet safety and healthy relationships.

“Each time NOVA presents, they provide timely and invaluable information for our students,” said School Counselor Karla Davis Jones. “This year was no exception and Armstrong is very fortunate to have partnered with NOVA, even during COVID-19 through virtual presentations and social distancing.”

Sixth grade students learned about their digital footprint and explored the privacy of the digital world. In this presentation, NOVA educators promoted critical thinking in regards to how digital content is potentially viewed and stored. Students applied this information in scenario activities designed to foster empathy, and encourage responsible and respectful decision making.

“During this pandemic, we are connected more and more through our devices,” said Hayes Honer, NOVA educator. “Most likely, students hear about their digital footprint and about how to behave online a lot. It's always important to have a reminder to increase awareness to protect ourselves and our online reputations.”

NOVA educators taught internet safety to seventh grade students. Students learned how they can protect themselves and their information while using the internet on their phone, computer, gaming system or any other device. The presentation also addressed social networking and the risks involved in using social media.

Eighth grade students learned about healthy relationships. NOVA educators taught them about the characteristics of healthy versus unhealthy relationships, and empowered students to create healthy relationships in their lives.

“Whether it is internet safety, cyberbullying awareness, healthy relationships or digital footprint, we cover each topic with a broad and purposeful teaching approach. However, understanding and awareness only scratch the surface,” said Dori Dungan, NOVA educator. “We really dig deep into the depths of prevention when we cover ‘helping’ strategies that can easily be used. We know this to be true because Armstrong students highly interact with our educators.”

Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA) supports, counsels and empowers victims of sexual assault and other serious crimes in Bucks County and works to prevent and eliminate violence in society through advocacy, training, community education and prevention programs. Founded in 1974, NOVA is a non-profit 501(c)(3), community-based organization operating out of three offices in Fairless Hills, Jamison and Perkasie. Services are made possible through the financial support of federal, state and local government grants and contracts, corporations, foundations and private donations. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent provided by law. For more information, visit www.NOVABucks.org.

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