Stewards of Children - Program Launched Online With Sumtotal

by Sumtotal Systems - Date: 2006-11-05 - Word Count: 612 Share This!

SumTotalĂ‚Â(r) Systems (Nasdaq: SUMT), the largest provider of talent and learning solutions, said Darkness to Light, a national child sexual-abuse prevention, education and public awareness organization, has launched SumTotal's learning management system (LMS) to create an online version of "Stewards of Children," a child sexual-abuse prevention program.

"We believe our new, LMS-enabled Stewards of Children Online program will play a crucial role in vastly increasing the number of adults nationwide that we train to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse," explained Anne Lee, Darkness to Light's founder, president and chief executive officer. "We hope to go from training thousands of adults to training hundreds of thousands."

Any individual can complete the two- to three-hour online training by visiting the Darkness to Light Web site, ( Darkness to Light expects to contract with various organizations that serve children and adolescents (e.g., schools; faith-based organizations; community-based programs like the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs and sports and recreation leagues; and Child Advocacy Centers) to have their staff and volunteers complete the training as a prerequisite for working with children.

"More and more, organizations that serve children and adolescents are either proactively making the decision or are being required to make the decision by their insurance companies to create child-protection policies that include training all staff and volunteers that serve children and adolescents," added Ms. Lee. "We feel the online Stewards of Children program, enabled by the SumTotal LMS, provides a convenient way for staff, volunteers and individuals to complete their training. We also believe that the online version of our training will provide a critical revenue stream to help sustain Darkness to Light's efforts to prevent child sexual abuse through the education of adults.

"Prior to launching SumTotal's LMS, our Stewards of Children program was taught face-to-face by 200 facilitators in 30 states," Ms. Lee explained. "We can't keep up with demand for this program with face-to-face training alone."

"We underwent a very rigorous review process before selecting SumTotal," explained Ms. Lee. "SumTotal rose to the number-one spot because of its reputation, large network of clients, support and hosted solution. And SumTotal really cared about helping to make a big difference in other people's lives.

"We now have available to adults a well-designed, well-conceived, sexual-abuse prevention training program for which the goal is to change behaviors," added Ms. Lee.

The SumTotal LMS tracks users' progress, offers interactive components and requires users to take tests to complete training requirements.

"We believe this will be a powerful use of SumTotal Systems' technology to positively impact many lives and support communities across the nation," said Don Fowler, chief executive of SumTotal.

The program's goal is to ensure users have the information to know how to protect children. If those using or registered with the LMS need to retake the course on a recurring basis to meet certifications, then they will receive an email reminder. Participants can utilize the extensive resources in the online training program for up to two weeks after registering. Darkness to Light recommends the Stewards of Children Online course be taken every year as a good refresher and to attain additional knowledge.

Darkness to Light aims to educate the general public about the Stewards of Children Online program through an extensive national awareness campaign. This will include donated ads for print, radio, television and the Internet (e.g., CNN and AOL, featuring celebrity spokespeople such as Angela Shelton, Cyndi Lauper and Anne Heche).

A grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Opportunities Program funded the Stewards of Children Online program. Given the cost of developing a high-quality, e-learning course, Darkness to Light would not have been able to develop Stewards of Children Online without the support of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

For more information about SumTotal's products and services, visit

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