DAVIS, Calif., March 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- TV's Animal Planet stars Victoria Stilwell and Donald Schultz have joined forces with Yoursphere.com's vigorous approach to online threats like cyberbullying, sexting, and identity theft ensuring a safe and content-rich online destination for kids only. Internationally respected dog expert Stilwell is partnering with Yoursphere.com because of its trailblazing dual reputation for online safety as well as spawning personal growth of its young members. World adventurer Schultz said that although the Internet can be a dangerous place, he is championing Yoursphere's rigorous methods for protecting kids online and welcomes this unique channel to personally connect with and educate his young fans.
A vanguard pioneer in providing both proactive child safety as well as vibrant, engaging and age-appropriate content for the often overlooked 'tween set, Yoursphere has been profiled in the media on CNN, Bloomberg, BBC, and Fox News among numerous others, and was recently the subject of a three-part Lifetime TV series. An upcoming feature exploring Internet realities is currently in the works with a major news network, and Yoursphere's mother-of-five founder and president Mary Kay Hoal will also appear in the upcoming documentary on cyberbullying, "Submit."
Through their individual spheres, the Animal Planet stars will connect with kids who want to learn more about their lives as animal experts, and provide videos, games and other features designed exclusively for the Yoursphere community. Stilwell, Yoursphere's new celebrity mom, is one of the world's most recognized and respected dog trainers, reaching audiences in more than 40 countries. As the star of Animal Planet's hit TV series "It's Me or the Dog," also airing on the new Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), Stilwell shares her insights for humane, force-free dog training and counsels families on their pet problems all over the world. (View clips and videos: Yoursphere.com/press.)
Stilwell said of her new status as an official endorser of the site: "As the mother of a seven year old daughter, I am keenly aware of both the strong pull of the Internet (and social media in particular) and the potential dangers it poses for an unsuspecting child who is just beginning to become familiar with all of the amazing benefits that being online can provide. That's why I was so excited when I heard about Yoursphere: it's the perfect way to introduce kids to the power and fun of joining an online community and giving them the freedom to discover on their own. Parents have the comfort of knowing they're protected. It's also a great way for me to be able to connect to my younger animal-loving fans in a unique and dynamic way."
Just returning from leading an eco-tour in Costa Rica, Schultz is a renowned venom expert, writer, and photographer who works with scientists all over the world to collect DNA from wild animals. He said: "Yoursphere is the online destination for kids I can feel good about. My fans know I'm hooked on adrenaline, but I also make sure they know I'm about being safe and smart in my explorations, whether I'm collecting deadly venom or being the first person in North America to fly the new Vampire 4 Wingsuit! On Yoursphere, I can connect with my fans, knowing the kids are on a site that values and teaches cybersmarts. Yoursphere is the ultimate online destination to let me share personally with kids the fun of learning about the wonderfully wild creatures on our planet."
Chockablock full of stimulating activities designed for their main 'tween audience (ages 7-12), Yoursphere.com strives to enrich young minds by challenging their creativity and curiosity about the world; the site also welcomes teens through age 17. Uniquely, much of Yoursphere.com's content is created by the kids themselves via new "spheres" they generate (on average four per visit).
Yoursphere's safety-first motto is achieved via implementation of proprietary policies including input from their Law Enforcement Task Force populated by former Secret Service, FBI agents and other law enforcement officials. In addition to its utilization of law enforcement behind the scenes, Yoursphere adheres to the federal Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and is approved by the Privacy Vaults Online Safe Harbor of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Yoursphere's companion site, YoursphereForParents.com, equips families with practical tools for handling the online world and is read by parents in more than 96 countries.
In combination with this scope and its growing US popularity, Yoursphere is expanding internationally. Stilwell, born in England, and Schultz, a South African native, have both built broad international appeal through their programs broadcast to a global market. Yoursphere is the first and only social networking site with designated "spheres" where selected celebrities can connect with their fans in a privacy-first, age-appropriate environment. Yoursphere will be announcing the launch of additional celebrity spheres in the coming weeks.
Yoursphere.com offers free as well as premium memberships to its young audience, ages 7-17.