PDX After School is operated and developed by me (Zeal Mayfield). I am director of technology at To Every Kid, a 501(c)(3) non-profit. We operate an after-school robotics program in PPS, as well as a children’s technical training center in Lake Oswego called “The TEK Center”. We originally conceived the idea of a website of this nature after our first experience with PeachJar, because we had many reservations about the way they do business and the true value of their service.
I have had feedback that represented a couple different feelings about our service, mostly falling into the following categories:
- Concern that because TEK (To Every Kid) has a stake in the after-school market, we may use the service to unfairly advantage ourselves in relation to other providers.
- Concern that we may not be fully committed to developing the platform, and it might die off or fizzle out at some point.
In response to those concerns:
Because our business, and our non-profit mission depend on communication with parents, we are completely committed to making PDX After School the best possible single source of accurate information regarding after-school opportunities in the greater metro area. Also, I love programming 😉 so this is a labor of love for me.
In order for the website to be effective, its user-base needs to grow to include anyone and everyone who wants information about after-school activities, and its listings need to grow to include every after-school provider and every activity being offered. If we were to use the platform to unfairly advantage ourselves, providers would be reluctant to use our service, and our listings would become incomplete, which would lead to the platform no longer being the best source of information, resulting in the user-base abandoning the platform, destroying any benefit to us that the service represents.
We are committed to fair and honest administration of the service, and we believe the chief goal is to provide what parents want, in the format parents want. In the end, the number of parents using PDX After School is the key factor which will drive providers to list on the website, so we are focusing on allowing providers to offer what parents want, rather than showing parents what providers want them to see. I believe this is a key difference from flyer distribution.