by Carol Politi

sexting2

The topic of Sexting – sending inappropriate photographs digitally via a child’s cell phone – is becoming a dominant concern for more and more parents.  We are seeing heightened interest in what our customers can do to safeguard their kids against the embarrassment and perhaps even legal issues related to Sexting.

Why this concern?  Fox 59 just did a special report on this topic, and one quote in this report jumps off the page.  “In a recent national study nearly 40% of teenagers said they had sent sexually suggestive texts or pictures of themselves to other minors.”  Statistics such as this one are frightening and push the topic of Sexting on the radar of almost every parent.  The Fox report mentions kajeet and describes the features we provide to help parents ensure children use their cell phones safely.

The Fox report could be a good thing to share with your tween or young teen to inspire a conversation around the topic of Sexting.  It could be worthwhile to find out if they know kids in their school sending inappropriate pictures, to discuss what kind of picture and text messages are appropriate, and to find out if they are aware of how pictures and texts can move from the telephone to the internet in seconds.  Please comment and let us know how you are addressing this topic with your children and whether they feel it is an issue in their schools.

by Carol Politi

We recently queried our customers to find out how they were using kajeet.  In doing so we received some amazing reports on how kajeet has been used in unique ways or has otherwise added value to our customers and their relationships with their children.   I thought I’d share some of these here (all of these postings have been approved by the customer).

From Kristine:

“I was totally against paying for a cell phone for our 11 year old daughter until I came across kajeet. It was so affordable for her to have for an emergency situation that I broke down & signed up. She was always staying after school for activities, so I was able to contact her if I was running late to pick her up or she could let me know if the activity was running longer than expected. Then one day, there was a situation at her school where there was a shooter running from the police so the school was in lock down. They had no idea where he was & he had already shot the police chief and an officer just a couple blocks from the school. Since most of the students were already on the buses to come home they took them all to the bus garage. She was then able to call us & let us know what was going on and that she and her younger sister were safe. I know the other kids had wished they could call their parents & since there were restrictions on her phone to whom she could call, they couldn’t use hers. I was so glad that I had got it for her & I never regret it for a moment. To have peace and mind for now only $4.99 a month, it’s crazy not too! If she has money that she wants to add to her account so she can use other features, then I am more than happy to add it to her account for her. It has taught her responsiblitly when it comes to her money since she can use the home phone to call most of her friends for free! To be able to be in contact with her in a situation like that was a God send since the school doesn’t call you & you only see what the news is reporting on TV. It really was a great decision!”

Thanks for your feedback Kristine.  The team at kajeet is really happy your daughter made it through this situation safely and was inspired to hear that kajeet was able to help keep you and your children connected at this time.  While we hope none of our other parents have to go through a situation even remotely like this, the fact is that we all encounter stressful situations with our kids.  Whether it be a missed school bus, misunderstood pickup location, or what is in fact a real emergency – we do hope kajeet is able to provide safe link between our customers and their children at all times.

English Roses

April 20, 2009

by Carol Politi

The Runaway Rose - Soda Shoppe

Longer term readers will know that one of our initiatives at kajeet is to find ways we can use the phone to promote tween reading.  I’m an avid reader, and this particular project is a pet project of mine.

As part of this  quest we have teamed up with Penguin books and have launched the news about their newest The English Roses book – The Runaway Rose – on our phone.  In addition to providing a bit of information about the book, we are giving away free wallpapers that can be used as screensavers.

If you are not familiar with The English Roses series, it is authored by Madonna and is a real hit with tween girls.  Here is a quick peek at The Runaway Rose from their website:

“Amy’s absolutely thrilled when her mum gets her an after-school job working behind the scenes at Marks & Spencer Teen Fashionista week; it seems a perfect opportunity to polish her design skills and cultivate her true passion for fashion! But when a talent scout convinces Amy that she should actually appear on the runway as a model for the big show, things start to fall apart. Suddenly, Amy finds herself hanging with the beautiful people, and her head gets more than a little inflated as a result. What’s worse, she begins ditching the English Roses to hang with her fashionable new friends! The Roses have to wonder if she’s getting a wee bit big for her designer britches! Will Amy abandon her four best friends to follow the fashionista crowd forever?”

A really interesting trend in tween and teen literature is to pair each book series with its own website and social experience.  In this case, Penguin has launched myenglishroses.net.  This tie between the book and the computer is intended to make books more relevant to kids.  It is great to have a place for kids to go to get more context on the author and to generally add more depth to the reading experience.  In addition to providing information on the other books in the series, this site also offers fun crafts, horoscopes, and quizzes on the book.

Madonna has actually written six picture books for children, The English Roses, Mr. Peabody’s Apples, Yakov and the Seven Thieves, The Adventures of Abdi, Lotsa de Casha, and The English Roses: Too Good To Be True.  The English Roses is a series – and Runaway Rose is book number 9.

How do you get your kids interested in reading?  Please let us know!

by Daniel Neal

United Nations Plant For the Planet:  Billion Tree Campaign

I wrote a few weeks ago about how we at kajeet had introduced several new models of refurbished phones in an effort to reuse and recycle more. We’ve gotten a great response to our “pre-loved” handsets, though I have to admit that I think the lower prices help with those sales. Of course, both motivations can coexist. In the end, it’s a wonderful thing to see perfectly good (or even great) handsets go out the door to be used by kids who will re-love them.

Now we’re taking another small step. The gang here thought it would be a good idea to plant a tree for anyone who buys a refurbished phone, thereby reinforcing the good-citizen aspect of recycling cell phones. Already, we’ve planted 51 new trees! I know it’s a small number (so far), but we get excited about these new ways to make our path in business a bit greener. Each step along this path seems to present new ways to support a greener planet. But it isn’t just us: we’re getting direct support from new customers who are making very conscious decisions about what they consume, and the impact of those choices. Combining a refurbished phone with the planting of a new tree is a simple, but good, idea. We’re very grateful to be getting a positive response to this idea from customers new and old.

We’re also thankful for the help we’ve gotten from our friends at mokugift. They’ve been helping us with the tree planting. It’s great to find new friends who can help those of us in the technology & telecom field expand into places that are constructive in new ways. Thanks, mokugift!

We always love to hear your ideas – big or small – about what you are doing to help the environment, and what you think we should be doing along those lines. Please, let us know. We’re taking new steps ourselves, and want to travel further along a greener path.

by Carol Politi

The EPA has launched national cell phone recycling week – starting April 6th – as part of its efforts to celebrate Earth Day.  “If Americans recycled the 100 million cell phones that are no longer being used, enough energy would be saved to power more than 18,500 homes for a year.”  Wow.

kajeet offers free recycling.  Just go to kajeet recycles and download a mailing label.  We will cover the shipping!

by Carol Politi

I love getting notes from kajeet parents and, where they approve, thought I’d start posting some of them here for others to share.    Here is a note we received from a recent customer about her experience with kajeet:

“I hope this will get into the right department. I want to thank you for such a wonderful service that you provide. I have seen your ads for a long time, but it appeared that your services were geared more for small children. I responded to a search for unlimited texting, and kajeet came up. I soon discovered that the phones are appealing to kids of all ages, even my fussy teen, and the parental controls are a god send. We have been customers for a little less than a month, but I am so happy with the ease of use, and full protection I am getting. Thank you thank you thank you! I am so happy that my teenage daughter and I can both agree on one phone and service. I have been telling all of my friends about you. Please keep up the good work. You have ended one big point of contention and worry in our house. Thank you again. I hope your company lives long, and prospers. You are doing a very good thing, and you may even save a life, by making them safer.”  We received this mail from Rhonda, a kajeet parent.

Thanks for your feedback Rhonda, and thank you for being a kajeet customer.  Please continue to tell us when we are doing things right and when we make mistakes.  Your feedback helps us to improve our service – and feedback like this makes the entire kajeet team feel great about the work we are doing!

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