and the organizations we’re working with across the country.
Up first, Allô prof, a Quebec-based non-profit that provides homework support by telephone and online to Quebec’s elementary and high-school students, as well as their parents. A team of qualified educators joins a virtual team of student assistants, parents and others from the educational sector to bring this service to life.
Rogers Youth Fund is supporting the essential work being done by Allô prof along with a number of its initiatives, including video tutorials and online interactive games. Now, Allô prof is gearing up to launch a new application that will allow students to chat with Allô prof educators on their smartphones. They’ll be able to submit questions by text message and archive their conversations.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Marc-Antoine Tanguay, director of marketing and communications for Allô prof to get the scoop:
Q : Why an application? What are your hopes for this new tool?
A : Allô prof’s philosophy is the key to its success: be where youth are. They’re the ones who ask us to meet them in these technological spaces that offer such immense possibilities when it comes to helping kids out with their studies. That’s why, thanks to Rogers, we’re developing a mobile version of the Allô prof website, as well as a text-messaging-based application. Students will not only be able to send us questions by text message, they’ll be able to forward photos too. Given that more and more content is adapted for mobile devices, the potential is enormous. For an Allô prof educator, it’ll be easy and quick to direct a student with a question to an online video or to a fact sheet in our virtual library. We’ll be able to engage with students more quickly, which will allow us to help even more students, or simply help the ones who already call on us, more often. The new application will be available for iPhone and Android devices by January.
Q : What other projects have you been able to launch with support from the Rogers Youth Fund?
A : We develop our entire technological and mobile offering with the support of Rogers. Besides the text messaging application, we’ll be launching an online interactive game called Magimot, which will help elementary school students improve their vocabulary and spelling skills. Magimot joins Fin Lapin, another online game that teaches basic math. Over 1 million Fin Lapin games were played in just under 4 months, so we’re very pleased with its success. In January, we’ll launch the mobile version of our current website, which includes, among other things, 21 new video tutorials which have been viewed more than 15 000 times since they launched last May. What’s more, support from the Rogers Youth Fund has contributed to the hiring of 50% more educators this year. And of course these teachers are at the centre of everything we do.
Q : Why do you believe so strongly in the importance of a service like Allô prof?
A : There’s something touching about what we do at Allô prof in that we speak directly to young people. Just to give you an example, we recently received a thank-you note from a high school student who was the victim of bullying. He told us that he was able to get through his situation and build up his self-confidence thanks to the support he’d received from our educators. You have to keep in mind that in order to get our help in the first place, the student has work to do: at the very least, he has a telephone number to call or a website to visit. Young people are often the target of a lot of criticism from society. With the school reform here in Quebec, the media was constantly sending the message that a whole generation of students would suffer. The message they hear from Allô prof is that we believe in our youth and we’re here to support them. It’s this confidence that we give to young people.
The Rogers Youth Fund supports non-profit organizations near you. Join us for the next blog post in this new series, for a featured interview with Ian Edward, Executive Director of the Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Clubs.
Michelle is a regular contributor to Redboard.