BASKING RIDGE, NJ — In conjunction with the availability of ChaperoneSM Child Locator and Chaperone with Child ZoneSM, the new location-based services from Verizon Wireless that give parents tools to help communicate with and identify the whereabouts of their young children's Migo phones, the company also launched an educational Web site with materials that explain the benefits of Chaperone and how best to use the service. When parents visit www.VerizonWireless.com/Chaperone and click on "Parents Educational Tools," they can explore the site to learn more about the service while sharing educational materials with their children, the cornerstone of which is an animated video of a family setting up and using Chaperone. After watching the video, parents can also review and download a number of resources to help their family get the most out of Chaperone.
According to Rhonda L. Clements, Ed.D., a Professor of Education at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York, who advised Verizon Wireless on the Chaperone project, the educational materials developed by Verizon Wireless are an instrumental part of the program. "The video and other materials speak very effectively to children and will play an important role in helping families get the most value out of the Chaperone service," said Dr. Clements. "Chaperone encourages independence, allowing children to be active outdoors and develop socially, while still enabling parents to have a link to connect with their children when they are out of sight." Dr. Clements has authored nine books on the importance of physical activity for children and is an outdoor child play expert.
The educational Web site is designed for parents regardless of whether they have already purchased Chaperone to use with their children. All visitors to the Chaperone Web site learn about the service as they see Zip and his family using Chaperone in four brief segments, starting with the family considering cell phones for the children and setting up the Chaperone service, then showcasing different situations in which Chaperone provides an essential connection for the family. Concluding each segment is a series of questions for the parent and child to discuss together that not only provide guidance on how to use the service but also reinforce the importance of keeping the family connected and how to respond when the unexpected happens. These include:
- Can you think of a time when you wished you could get hold of Mom or Dad quickly?
- In addition to your Mom or Dad, what other adults could help you if you needed them?
- Why is it always important to tell someone in the family where you are going and your plans?
- What makes a Chaperone phone different than a regular cell phone?
- What is an emergency? Can you think of two or three things that might be an emergency?
Once parents and their children watch the video of Zip and his family, they are encouraged to print out and sign the downloadable "Chaperone Certificate of Rights and Responsibilities" and post it in a prominent place in their home. This certificate serves as a reminder about the importance of using the Chaperone service properly in an informed and responsible manner. Another useful element of the educational materials is the convenient "Important Numbers" printout, where families can list all their important numbers in one place. The document also provides guidance on who to include on the list (babysitters, teachers, relatives, doctors, etc.), other useful information to include, and step by step instructions on how to place an emergency call using the Migo phone.
Based on Global Positioning System (GPS) data, Chaperone is designed to supplement the parameters parents have already established with their children with two options:
- Chaperone Child Locator Once the child is equipped with a new or updated Migo phone and the service is activated on the account, parents can locate their child's Migo phone from a PC via the Chaperone Web site (www.VerizonWireless.com/Chaperone). Optionally, parents can download the Chaperone application from the Get It Now® virtual store, at no charge, to conduct single location requests for the Migo phone directly from the parent's Verizon Wireless phone. The Chaperone application is available for use on a growing number of Get It Now-enabled phones.
Using this service, parents can:
- Perform single location requests of the Migo phone's whereabouts and display the location of the Migo phone on a map via the Chaperone Web site or the parent's Verizon Wireless phone
- Program the Migo phone's automatic calling buttons over the air from the Chaperone Web site
- Customize Chaperone settings, including 'English' or 'Spanish' language, creating a unique name for the child's Migo phone and enabling or disabling the emergency calling button
- Chaperone with Child Zone Using the Chaperone Web site, a parent can construct an area called a Child Zone around the vicinity of locations that their child frequents (such as school, playgrounds or daycare centers). Different locations can be "zoned" for one time, always on, or for up to 24 hours. When the child arrives or leaves the predetermined area with their Migo phone, the parent is alerted via TXT Message on their Verizon Wireless phone.
To access Chaperone services, parents first need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Family Share Plan® and must have a Migo phone on that account. Parents can add basic Chaperone Child Locator for $9.99 monthly access per line or add Chaperone with Child Zone for $19.99 monthly access per line. Chaperone Child Locator and Chaperone with Child Zone are available through the 2,100 Verizon Wireless Communications Stores plus Circuit City retail locations nationwide and through verified agents and through its telesales group. Chaperone is not available for purchase over the Internet. Chaperone is only available to Verizon Wireless customers on a Family Share Plan to help restrict unauthorized use of the service.
For more information about Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com.
(EDITORS NOTE: Broadcast-quality B-Roll and high-resolution stills of Chaperone phones and the educational video from Verizon Wireless are available online. Log on to Verizon Wireless' Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia to preview and request video segments, which can be received in newsrooms digitally, by tape or via satellite, or to request images.)
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 53 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.