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The Mitchell County Board of Supervisors voted 2-1 on May 7 to give $5,000 to Mobile Mamma, an organization that educates youth and adults about online and social media safety. 

The Cresco-based non-profit organization requested and received $7,500 in county funds in the fall for the 2019 fiscal year. 

Christy Teslow, executive director of Mobile Momma, and Barb Schwamman, superintendent of the Osage and Riceville school districts, came to the April 30 county supervisors meeting to request $5,000 for the 2020 fiscal year.

The organization contracts with the Osage and Riceville school districts to provide online safety education. The schools pay a fee to receive those services. 

Teslow plans to do a class for parents in Osage and Riceville. 

"We are trying to get into the St. Ansgar schools as well," she said.  

Supervisor Steven Smolik, who wasn't on the board when Mobile Mamma's first funding request was granted, voted against the $5,000 request. 

"I think it (the funding) is up to the school system," he said. 

However, Supervisor Stan Walk said he thinks providing financial assistance to Mobile Mamma is a good use of county money. 

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"It takes a community to raise a child," he said. 

Supervisor Barb Francis agreed. 

"It's everyone's responsibility," she said. 

Mobile Mamma already may have saved lives, according to Walk. 

He said Schwarman told him when a student made a threat against the Osage school district several months ago, "other kids turned him in."

One of the things Mobile Mamma teaches is that threats on social media should be taken seriously and reported, according to Walk. 

Representatives from Mobile Mamma will be attending conferences in Ireland, Nashville and Chicago to learn more about online safety, according to Teslow.

She said the organization is grateful to the community for its support. 

Anyone who wishes to help Mobile Mamma with its mission is invited to visit www.mobilemamma.org or call 563-203-8015. 

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