Bright by Text has suspended license fees for community-serving organizations that seek to support families during the COVID-19 crisis.
Bright by Text aggregates content from health and early childhood experts to deliver trusted resources and guidance to parents and caregivers who are overwhelmed with the volume of new services being pushed out as a result of this crisis. We are working with PBS and Sesame Street who have developed messaging to help families talk to their children about the coronavirus, sustain education from home, and cope collectively with our adaptive lifestyle. Our content partners at CDC and AAP have created web pages to help pregnant mothers and expecting families know how to prepare and what to expect at the hospital. Bright by Text has partnered with community organizations and school systems across the country to publicize timely support resources such as the locations, hours and protocol for families to get school lunches while kids are home. Bright by Text partners with Aunt Bertha and United Way 211 centers to offer community messages with the latest information and resources for families. Our subscribers input their zip code upon signing up so they can receive these targeted community messages connecting them to nearby services and updates in their area.
Bright by Text is uniquely positioned to offer an educational curriculum via text message to motivate learning and creativity from home, healthy habits, physical activities and more. We have developed a unique community messaging service for our partners across the country that can send relevant information to families in specific zip codes. One example of these messages is, “Diapers and Food pantries serving the Community March 23rd-31st. Leander, Austin, Cedar Park, and Round Rock. Locations and times:” with a link to said pick up spots and schedules. This message was sent to 2,200 families and received a click-through rate of 30% meaning that almost one third of families wanted to learn more. As new content becomes available every day, we are developing new partnerships to share valuable resources with a wider audience. Bright by Text has almost 80,000 families enrolled from all 50 states, so we can act as a communications channel for these resource providers.
In what ways did you change your behaviors as a result of this resource?
Our model is to curate aggregated content from early childhood experts, so our existing relationships with CDC, PBS and Sesame Street were catalysts to begin sharing their information to our subscribers to make sure they feel informed and prepared. Rather than continuing to distribute our core curriculum of 2-4 messages per week, we made room in our message library to accommodate the most relevant information and latest resources pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to shelter-in-place orders, we have suspended all messages regarding playdates and public outings to ensure that our messaging meets the guidelines of the CDC and WHO.
In what ways did you share this information?
We are most focused on helping families navigate the additional stress of this difficult time and keep their child engaged and learning during school and daycare closures. We have over 50 partners across the country who distribute customized messages for individual communities by targeting specific counties and zip codes. With this tool, we can ensure that families feel connected with their communities and supported with the right resources and latest information during the COVID-19 crisis.
What information do you feel you are missing about COVID-19?
One of the biggest issues facing families right now are a lack of equity when considering digital education and home learning. As children are asked to join Zoom classrooms, many at-risk families don’t own a computer or need their only computer to do work of their own. Our relationship with PBS and other online education providers allows us to send their expert resources via text message so parents and caregivers can access information on their cell phones.
What populations or personas are not currently being addressed with today’s COVID-19 information?
Pew Research’s studies tell us that smartphone use continues to grow in the US and is increasingly capable of reaching low-income populations and rural areas. 1 in 5 American adults are “smartphone-only” internet users and low-income families are the most smartphone dependent. Creating content that caregivers can access with their children will prompt two-generational learning about COVID-19 and ways in which families can navigate their changing lifestyle.