Below are responses of how the PGK Platform utilizes and builds from some of the 10 Framing Principles as an online organizer. Intentions for a mobile platform increase the need for implementing the most effective design strategies and principles for civic and political engagement.
1. Why does it matter to me?
PGK’s platform mobilizes this aspect of civic agency in two ways: 1. The online tool provides kids with a way to learn about causes that they care about so that they can organically discover why giving back/volunteering matters to them and 2. Connecting kids with stories about those in need and activities that specifically help others gives them a way to discover first-hand why certain causes matter to them.
PGK Q: “What types of things do you care about? What do you need to learn in order to know more about these causes?”
2. How much should I share?
The registration feature on the PGK site organizes student reflection so that service experiences can be captured both quantitatively through “completion” and qualitatively through individual reflection. The question of sharing is addressed in this manner, but additionally, external sharing of voice and action with others is mobilized through interaction with others who share, stories of other kids giving back, and by PGK In Action and Giving List posts on the site. When it comes to developing social and emotional skill and cultivating empathy, sharing through giving back is demonstrated in many different ways and on many different levels for young children.
PGK Q: “Is it important to share what you know about things you care about with other kids? Why? How could you do this?”
3. How do I make it about more than myself?
Organizing with their siblings, peers, classmates, clubs, scout troops, etc. allow youth to make giving back through PGK activities more than about themselves in a simple way. The site additionally allows them to connect with others through at service “team” challenge to complete multiple activities. By demonstrating to kids how great giving back can be and how fun it can be when done with others, PGK facilitates relationships not just with those who benefit from service, but also with those who are learning to give back to their communities.
PGK Q: “How can you inspire your friends to become #GivingKIDS? Are there activities that you think you could do together?”
4. Where do we start?
The PGK Activity Finder is a visually-appealing and user-friendly way for kids to search through various activities that they might want to get involved with. Not knowing where to start is actually the reason that PGK is so necessary as an online tool: it educates, connects, and mobilizes kids by addressing the very reality of them not knowing where to start. Using the hastag #GivingKIDS, PGK additionally engages youth via social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
PGK Q: “Are there ways that you can think of that you can give back to others? What are they?”
5. How can we make it easy and engaging?
As an online platform for connecting kids with causes they care about, while learning about other causes in the world, local nonprofits in their community, and other kids that are doing great work. The Activity Finder and setup of the site makes it easy – the fun age-appropriate activities make it engaging. The social aspect of the site (and future mobile platform) builds a foundation of further interest and civic engagement.
PGK Q: “How important is it to get involved in your local community? Does volunteering regularly benefit your community? How?”
6. How do you get wisdom from crowds?
#GivingKIDS set an example for others when they give back, get involved, share successes, and continue to learn about service in their local communities.
PGK Q: “How can you set an example for others in your community by giving back?
7. How do you handle the downside of crowds?
Sometimes there are too many activities to choose from, too many people who need help and too many local organizations that could use volunteers. Making sense of what is available for them, as well as learning about causes they have a personal connection to can help kids to create a sustained commitment to giving back.
PGK Q: “Is it hard to continue to give back when others around you are not? Why? What can you do to keep giving back to others?”
8. Does raising voices count as political action? (Are we pursuing voice or influence or both?)
Creating relationships with others in their community through the process of giving back allows kids to have the tools to take causes they care about and raise their concern to the next level. Giving back to their community counts as political action, in the form of civic engagement and civic education.
PGK Q: “Raising awareness for causes and speaking up for those in need is important. How does your service help those in need?”
9. How do we get from voice to change?
Connecting with causes they care about is important, however, using this connection and making an impact is the goal of the PGK platform.
PGK Q: “What would happen if every single person became a #GivingKID? What would the world look like?
10. How can we find allies?
PGK has the capacity for connecting kids with other kids, as well as those who are different than they are. It also provides them with a way to connect with others that are passionate about the same causes they they are.
PGK Q: “How can Project Giving Kids (PGK) help you to make connections with other like-minded kids that are giving back in your community?”
|Thinking about the Four Outcomes of Participatory Politics|
Engagement – Educating kids about things they care about allows them to be drawn into the idea of giving back. Keeping track of the great things they do, reflection, and sharing these experiences with others helps to initiate a level of engagement unlike any other.
Quality and Equity – PGK is a high-quality platform that specifically works with nonprofit organizations to create age-appropriate ways for kids to give back to their communities at an early age. No matter who or where they are located, kids can access the site, learn about causes they care about and connect with activities and opportunities that they can start immediately.
While doing service is relatively free, there are some barriers with some service activities that require donating money/goods, as well as some service sites that require transportation costs, etc.
Effectiveness – The platform mobilizes, educates, and motivates youth in more ways than one; instilling the values of giving back in them because they can connect with those who are different than they are, those who are in need, as well as other individuals in their own, diverse community. In regards to the community, nonprofit organizations and individuals with needs are met with ambitious and engaged youth who genuinely want to make a difference. PGK Partners’ needs are assessed and formulated into age-appropriate activities, rather posting “ideas” and then finding an organization that needs/wants the service (i.e. some donation models, etc.)
Security – PGK opportunities are vetted, age-appropriate, and open to young volunteers. While the site facilitates social interaction, it maintains the privacy of kids by using only their first name (or nickname inputted). Psychological integrity is maintained by promoting only those activities which are inclusive to all identities and all demographics/backgrounds. Additionally, the online environment of the PGK site is one of positivity and growth; all kids are supported through the site.