Text Messages (Reimagining School Readiness Toolkit)
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Instructions
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1. Decide which text message service platform you would like to use. For the pilot project, we worked with Shoutbomb (http://www.shoutbomb.com/).
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2. Create your sign-up questions in the language you wish to send messages in. Please include the line bolded below in whatever you choose to send. For the pilot, we asked:
• Q(1/2) Enter the number to represent the age of the ONE child for whom you wish to receive text message tips. Enter an age from 1 to 8.

• Q(2/2) What is your zip code?

• Thank you for registering for this pilot program! Starting [VARIABLE DAY], you will receive 3 messages per week for the next 9 weeks focused on helping your child develop the skills they need to succeed in school and beyond! These research-backed messages are provided by the Center for Childhood Creativity at the Bay Area Discovery Museum (http://centerforchildhoodcreativity.org/) in partnership with the California State Library. If you would like to end these messages at any time, reply with the keyword STOP.
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3. Create flyers, notecards, or signs to promote the use of text messaging at your library. Most libraries in the pilot found that word of mouth to their patrons was most effective.
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4. Run your campaign! The messages are designed so that a parent/caregiver would receive 3 messages per week for 8 weeks after signing up. This is true for all 4 age groups.
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5. Decide if you want to collect any survey data as part of the text messages. For the pilot, we asked: • Q(1/5): Did the text messages help you learn something new about how you can support your child’s learning? Please reply with YY for Yes or NN for No.

• Q(2/5): Approximately how many of the text message tips do you try with your child? Enter a number from 0 to 30.

• Q(3/5): Were the messages age appropriate? Please reply with YY for Yes and NN for No.

• Q(4/5) Are you interested in receiving more messages like this from your library in the future? Please reply with YY for Yes and NN for No.

• Q(5/5): What did you like most about receiving these messages?

• Thank you for completing our survey! Your responses will help us improve the program in the future.
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FAQs
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Why 3 messages per week? Studies out of Stanford have shown that 3 text messages per week is the "sweet spot" for parents and caregivers.
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How do I decide on a text message provider? Shoutbomb has worked with libraries before on campaigns similar to this around literacy which is why we choose them. Talk to your staff and administrators about what are all of the things you may use the platform for before diving in. Then, "interview" some providers to see who will work best to meet your needs.
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How are the translations handled? If you choose to provide the text messages in other languages, you will want to work with your provider so sign-up in that language is as easy as possilbe. For example, for the pilot, if adults wanted to sign-up to recieve messages in Spanish, they would text "REGÍSTREME" to the phone number listed instead of "REGISTER."
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