What does Lifeline Educational Services (LES) do?
We work with school districts to implement technologies and content that is relevant to their school district. There is a select set of technologies that we know work in most any district. The content has been proven effective with the target audiences. In order to assist with the adoption of these technologies, we work with local sponsors, typically local merchants who can provide awards and incentives (food, entertainment, etc.) that are attractive to the students. We make these awards available on a points-based system, allowing students to earn points for consuming the content. There is also parallel content available for the parents and educators.
Why does LES charge the schools?
There are hard costs involved in implementing the systems. They are: GPS hardware and telecommunications, software licenses, streaming video, help desk, and sponsor sales and support. All of these items must be accounted for. The schools must have some small investment in the system. Without some commitment, there is no reason to drive the project.
How does LES gain sponsorships?
It is heartwarming to see the genuine and caring responses from most business owners. The vast majority of them are excited by the chance to give back to their communities and to help kids. The awards and incentives they provide are impressive. In return, sponsors gain the ability to post open job positions. In addition, the awards and incentives often generate increased customer traffic. In essence, the sponsor is getting both a marketing value and a philanthropic value. We seek additional funding through grants, philanthropic organizations, and individuals in order to keep the expense to the school as low as possible.
Is it effective?
Yes, it is! To date, in our six pilot schools with over 900 students using the app, we have found that 72% of the students visit the app each month; 68% consume the Lifeline Content and earn award points. Ever increasing numbers of students claim and redeem awards. Thirty-two percent of the students leave comments on the Lifeline content and 93% of those are positive. On a scale of 1-5, 5 being the best, the average rating is 4.6 which we consider very good if you keep in mind this is “boring prevention and healthy living stuff” and not videos of cats riding robot vacuums cleaners.
We gain these results because our system provides utility and we leverage incentives and gamification. These elements of the mobile application combined with valuable, compelling content make a powerful tool in our efforts to grow healthy, safe young adults.