NK Theatre Arts topped the bill on National Safer Internet Day during E-Safety week, an initiative promoted by Government, Police and Children’s Charities.
Leading Stockport businesses and Marketing Stockport members CDL, Allied Bakeries and Midshire provided sponsorship for NKTA to deliver ‘The Net’ to schools where a total of 2044 Stockport children and young people attended NK Theatre Arts E-Safety play and workshops.
The children and young people from the age of 8 to 14 years attended plays and workshops relevant to their age group to explore through drama the importance of staying safe whilst using social media. As well as E-safety, other areas covered were digital foot prints, permanence of online information, sexting and its repercussions.
The children watched a chilling drama that highlighted the very real dangers they may be exposed to by forming friendships on the internet with people they do not know. The performance is followed by a workshop where the characters from the play answer questions put to them by the audience and are given the opportunity to suggest different ways they could change the ending of the drama.
The play uses Facebook to tell the story but the workshops embrace other elements of social media including Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp, and also interactive games such as Clash of The Titans, Poptropica and Stardoll.
Lyndsey Barton, Site Administrator from Allied Bakeries attended the school nominated by the company’s employees, she said:
“Whilst the subject matter was serious there were some humorous elements which had the children laughing. The question and answer session around how the situation could have changed if “Becky” had done things differently allowed the children to understand how their choices and behaviour can keep them safe. It was alarming how many children had access to social media platforms even at the ages of 10 and 11 and goes to demonstrate how important these workshops are, they can literally save lives”.
The drama and workshop was also performed to parents and GMP Child Exploitation Unit, who said:
“We were very impressed by the play and the strong message it gives”. A parent who attended said “I will be passing on this valuable information to all my friends and am going to get myself fully versed in this area to make other parents more aware about keeping their children safe on the internet”
Dawn Wrigley NK Theatre Arts Theatre In Education Co-ordinator and Youth Theatre Director said:
“I feel, as a Children’s Charity, we should be doing everything we can to tackle this very real issue that significantly affects children and young people.”
Through support of businesses such as CDL, Allied Bakeries and Midshire, NK Theatre Arts will continue to support Internet Safety among young people in Stockport.
If your business would like to support a local school and support this initiative, please contact Jackie Dootson, Trustee at NK Theatre Arts.