Connecting kids: Godoo app aims to link children to programs
MOORHEAD – A new mobile app to help children find out about events and programs in the community was unveiled Wednesday.
Godoo was created through a partnership between Venture Youth Alliance, an organization that connects youth programs, agencies, businesses and schools across Fargo-Moorhead, and North Dakota State University IDeaspace, an interdisciplinary space that fosters creative confidence through design thinking. It received funding from the Alex Stern Family Foundation.
Karen Olson, director of Venture Youth Alliance, said the main reason kids give for not taking part in programming is that they don’t know about it.
“We market to adults, not kids,” she said.
She said the goal is to remove barriers from kids participating in the community.
“We want you to be active. We want you to be engaged. This is a way for you to find out what’s close to you,” Olson told youth at the unveiling event.
She said the app had been two years in the making, as kids in Venture Youth Alliance’s summer program mapped the community, including programs and bus routes, creating a Youth Compass available online at www.ventureyouthalliance.com/youth.
By layering that information with census data, the group was able to show areas where there were high populations of youth and few activities.
One direct relationship that was born out of looking at that information was the Club at Horn Park, a new Boys and Girls Club program site at First Presbyterian Church in south Moorhead, where the event was held Wednesday.
The app has taken that information a step further, Olson said.
Users can search by what they want to do – topics such as art, music, eat, hangout and school activities – or by how they feel.
The app shows the distance to local places, including parks, pools, gyms, museums, libraries and churches. Summer feeding program sites and other services are also mapped.
Ludvik Herrera, creative director of IDeaspace, said the feelings-based navigation will show activities that will aide those types of emotions. If the user indicates he or she is extremely angry, frustrated or sad, a prompt to call FirstLink, a nonprofit human service agency, pops up.
An emergency button allows the user to send his or her location to four programmed contacts, such as parents or grandparents.
Olson said five pilot cities plan to use the app platform created here, including New Orleans, Louisville, Ky., and Rapid City, S.D.