Seattle-Based 6crickets Expanding Nationwide to Enable K12 Schools to Develop and Manage Quality After-School Enrichment Right at School
Successful Seattle Pilot and adoption of 25% of schools in one year proves huge enthusiasm for platform by parents and schools
July 31, 2018 – Seattle, WA – Following its highly successful pilot in its home market of Seattle, 6crickets today announced plans for nationwide expansion. Working with K-12 schools, PTAs and PTOs, and enrichment providers for the past year, 6crickets has an unrivaled understanding of the benefits of after-school enrichment programs and the operational processes needed to create and efficiently run these programs through an online management platform. 6crickets is providing school, district and PTA/PTO volunteer enrichment coordinators with the ability to offer an unsurpassed level of enrichment programming through its advanced technologies.
After-school enrichment – those programs that take place outside standard school hours and go beyond a core academic curriculum – have long been recognized as contributing greatly to a student’s success. The National Afterschool Association, the experts and “voice of the afterschool profession,” highlights the importance of high-quality after-school enrichment in schools: “NAA recognizes that quality afterschool programs provide positive child and youth development and meet a critical need for keeping kids safe and families productively employed.”
For parents, having enrichment programs that happen on school grounds after school can be a lifesaver. They can finish their work day knowing that their children are getting the enrichment they deserve and without the headache of managing the logistics for driving their kids around to their activities.
By some estimates, after-school programs make up a $22 billion a year industry in the United States and continue to grow. Media reports show that costs for these types of programs are increasing year-over-year, outpacing both inflation and income growth. It is a fragmented industry with no clear leader that could benefit from the efficiencies and organization that 6crickets delivers.
“We know how important after-school enrichment programs are to student learning and growth,” Dr. Helen Wang, 6crickets founder and CEO, explained. “ While some communities are often able to fill in those gaps, doing so is piecemeal, cumbersome, and lacking in quality control, vetting, and other important elements. Sadly, other communities are unable to do so and leave their students without enrichment and growth opportunities. 6crickets enables every school to create and manage a vibrant enrichment program easily.”
The mission of 6crickets is to create the technology that makes it easy for every school to bring the best enrichment to its students. 6crickets provides a turnkey solution that enables schools, districts, PTAs or PTOs to bring enrichment programing into their schools in a cost-effective, and often self-sustaining way.
6crickets.com gives schools their own online marketplace management platform that aggregates and organizes the best local enrichment providers to deliver innovative programs right at schools. Parents can search the school or district marketplace, schedule and add to calendar all of their child(ren)s after-school clubs, classes and/or after-school care. These programs have demonstrated an impressive scope with great creativity including subjects like art, music, chess, programming, engineering, foreign languages, public speaking, drama, carpentry, cooking, and academic enrichment.
Delivering these types of programs to schools can also be a challenge for providers. Elliott Neff, the CEO of Chess4Life, an organizer of chess clubs at schools, shared frustrations faced by both school enrichment coordinators and enrichment providers: “After many years of working with many schools, we have seen how much work it is for after-school enrichment coordinator to manage the effort, how hard it is for parents to go to numerous places to figure out after-school enrichment, and how time-consuming it is for us to interact with various schools individually to provide up-to-date rosters or effect any changes on classes.”
6crickets provides a streamlined, seamless, technology platform to overcome these hurdles. “6crickets has automated this [enrichment coordination] effort with a one-stop online registration service unifying registrations and roster management across different vendors or volunteer teachers, saving hours of time and stress for everyone,” Mr. Neff concluded.
“6crickets saved us countless hours.”
One PTA volunteer from Seattle school Adams Elementary shares her experience. “As PTA volunteers, we used to spend hours and hours manually creating and maintaining an improvised registration. It was cumbersome and time-consuming. Last year I was starting to feel desperate with the amount of time I was wasting with busy-work, so I contacted 6crickets. 6crickets saved us countless hours and we are thrilled with the services they provide!”
Seattle Pilot: Strong Demand, 25% Market Share
The effort that 6crickets has made in Seattle, working side-by-side with enrichment coordinators to create the best product, has spread quickly. Within 1 year, 25% of Seattle area elementary schools have adopted the 6crickets platform and the company is getting calls from districts and schools across the nation.
“By using Seattle as a test-market, we put 6crickets through multiple tests, variations, and iterations,” explained Dr. Wang. “Seattle is a tech-savvy market that will not accept anything that is second-best, particularly when it comes to educating its students.”
“We have every expectation that communities across the country will embrace 6crickets, just like Seattle has,” Dr. Wang added. “All parents want the best for their children and we know that children with access to after-school enrichment have more learning opportunities and advantages than those who don’t. Schools want to provide the highest quality and safest enrichment offerings, but often don’t know how to do that or lack funding resources to do so. 6crickets solves those problems.”
For more information, please see www.6crickets.com/afterschool.
6crickets is a Seattle-based company with the mission of bringing the best enrichment to every child through advanced technologies for parents, schools, and enrichment providers. Tested in the tech-savvy market of Seattle, WA for more than a year, 6crickets provides a turnkey solution for schools, PTAs or PTOs to manage after-school enrichment in a cost-effective and often self-sustaining way. Currently, hundreds of schools and providers have utilized 6crickets to bring vital programs of art, music, drama, chess, sewing, cooking, carpentry, coding, engineering, etc., to tens of thousands of students right at their schools. For several Title 1 schools, 6crickets has made enrichment possible for their students that would be otherwise unavailable. 6crickets is run by a team of computer scientists, business leaders, moms and dads, and PTA volunteers.
For more information, please visit www.6crickets.com.
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