National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry Affirms Yoursphere.com

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In light of Pope’s recent message of Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age, National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry names Yoursphere, social networking site for kids and teens, beneficial to authentic communication.

Yoursphere.com

We have found Yoursphere to be unique in its mission... The NFCYM shares Yoursphere’s commitment to cultivating young people’s creativity and well-being and providing opportunities to express caring and dignity for others.

Yoursphere.com announced today that the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) affirmed the kids-only social networking site as a “Collaborating Member” and considers Yoursphere to be a quality resource to parish parents, teachers, youth ministry organizations and young people.

Yoursphere, which offers the best of the Internet to kids and teens while teaching members how they can be “Internet safety smart,” is the first and only social networking site to affiliate with the NFCYM. The National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry is a nonprofit organization incorporated in the District of Columbia that advocates for and supports Catholic youth ministry on the national, diocesan, and local level.

“Social media is a wonderful gift for sharing and connecting with others, and our organization believes that Yoursphere is a wonderful alternative for young people and for those parents concerned about their children’s exposure to social media,” said Robert J. McCarty, Executive Director, NFCYM. “In his recent message anticipating the 45th World Day of Social Communications, Pope Benedict XVI gave social networking his blessing. We have found Yoursphere to be unique in its mission: to offer the best of the Internet to its membership in a framework that genuinely cares about their personal growth. The NFCYM shares Yoursphere’s commitment to cultivating young people’s creativity and well-being and providing opportunities to express caring and dignity for others.”

Ministries already incorporating Yoursphere into their communications strategy include the St. Thomas More Catholic Faith Formation & Youth Ministry in Paradise, California. While many of community’s senior high students already have Facebook accounts, St. Thomas More Youth Director Colleen O’Dowd is adamant that adult-oriented social networking sites are neither appropriate nor beneficial to kids and young teens. She believes that Yoursphere’s vast array of fun features, connectivity and responsible online mentoring is much more enriching. O’Dowd is issuing a Lenten challenge to the middle-school-aged kids in her parish and is calling on other youth ministers to do the same with the young kids and teens in their parish. “If you’re on Facebook, give it up for Lent and try Yoursphere,” she said.

The NFCYM website reports that “the majority of young people today utilize new technologies and social networking sites with much greater regularity than traditional e-mail accounts. In fact, the use of such sites is so popular among teenagers that it is increasingly difficult to reach a significant demographic in that population without using this technology. Therefore, out of pastoral and practical necessity, youth ministry and catechetical leaders, pastors, teachers, school staff, and catechists use this technology to communicate with young people and their parents.”

ABOUT YOURSPHERE.COM
Yoursphere is the social network for kids and teens that offers the best of the Internet while providing a vibrant and interactive experience that supports the talents and aspirations of its members. Kids can have their own blog, play hundreds of games, explore a virtual world, foster shared interests through Yoursphere’s innovative “spheres,” interact with other kids, earn rewards and benefit from a scholarship program. Member safety and privacy come first through the application of common-sense safeguards, and Yoursphere adheres to the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Yoursphere teaches kids to be “Internet safety smart” and rewards responsible online citizenship. Free and exclusively for children and teens through age 17, Yoursphere is approved by the Privacy Vaults Online Safe Harbor of the Federal Trade Commission. Founder and President Mary Kay Hoal is a nationally recognized Internet safety expert who also provides safety-focused practical technology tools and tips for parents at YoursphereForParents.com. For more information, visit Yoursphere.com.

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Jackie Flaten
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