Tech Impact Uses Data To Help Children Succeed

big-data

At 3:15 every day, Johnny went to his local after-school program to play basketball. After the game he sat with the after-school program’s tutor and went over his reading assignments. The tutor didn’t know about Johnny’s problems in math, and Johnny never told them.

Challenge

Johnny Smith is a student in a Philadelphia high school. His story is real though, as you may have guessed, his name has been changed.

Johnny is not a bad student. He gets B’s in most subjects and an A in reading. Despite this, he was failing math. He was even thinking about dropping out of school because his math grades were so low, he couldn’t have graduated anyway.

At 3:15 every day, Johnny went to his local after-school program to play basketball. After the game he sat with the after-school program’s tutor and went over his reading assignments. The tutor didn’t know about Johnny’s problems in math, and Johnny never told them.

Data may not seem terribly important to an after-school program, a recreation center, or a summer program, but the above example shows why data matters.

An after-school program may see dozens of school children from several different school districts. The program, with limited resources, can’t contact each student’s teachers and parents for an update on their grades. In some cases kids pass from program to program, with no information at all being collected on who they are or where they are coming from.

As a result of this lack of good data, kids like Johnny continue to struggle. Fortunately for Johnny, Tech Impact had the solution.

Solution

Tech Impact, leading provider of technology services to nonprofits, implemented a collaborative data collection system in after-school programs across 4 communities. Three of the communities helped are in Philadelphia. The fourth is the City of Chester in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Each community includes approximately 10-25 nonprofit agencies serving hundreds of youth aged 12-18.

To see how much of a difference good data makes, let’s take another look at Johnny’s case.

Impact

After Tech Impact was done with the technology project, Johnny’s Swipe ID Card called up his file when he walked through the door. Inside it was information on how he was doing in school, emergency contact information for his parents, information about his food allergies, and information about his grades.

The after-school program’s tutor was immediately notified that he is failing math. Instead of helping Johnny with his reading, the after-school program’s tutor knows to say, “Hey Johnny, how about I show you a cool trick I know to solve math problems.”

Janet Riley Ford, Director, Chester Youth Collaborative: “Unlike the past, today’s afterschool programs are expected to be knowledgeable about a multitude of things so that they can meet more of the needs of our youth. Technology, though frightening to some, seems to be the most efficient way to do this. Tech Impact provided our programs with the tools necessary to get started in a concise and inexpensive way. Tech Impact staff went the “extra mile” to provide our agencies with the time and attention necessary to convey the importance of technology in “plain” language. Today, we are more equipped to better serve our youth. Tech Impact has definitely contributed to the success of our organization.”

 

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Topics: Database CRM, Our Impact

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