Focusing on the Family: Family Centered Design
This year, Zeno has seen incredible growth in our MathWays for Early Learning Program. Along with this growth, we have made it a priority across our programs to ensure that the voice of the families we serve are a key part of our program development and evaluation. In this series, we’ll highlight some of the work we’re doing internally and in collaboration with others to ensure we are meeting the needs and address the challenges of families participating in our programs.
In this edition of our Focusing on the Family series, we’re excited to share some of the changes we’ve made to our game production and design to make our games more accessible and appealing to families. After creating and distributing many of the games for the first time in the 2015-2016 school year, we received positive feedback about the math content from educators and early learning professionals, but wanted to make sure the games would draw in kids and families in the home.
Recently, Zeno recruited two volunteers through the Taproot Foundation to help us take our game designs to the next level. The Taproot Foundation is a national organization that “drives social change by leading, mobilizing, and engaging professionals in pro bono service.” Our generous volunteers are providing their graphic design skills free of charge to Zeno, allowing us to redesign our games at level a small non-profit would not normally have the funds to pay for. We are excited to share the first set of instructions and some game pieces for our “Measure It” game, which helps families explore how to measure length and distances with their early learners:
A New Production Process
Along with improved graphics, we have partnered with local production company KPCorp to print our game boxes and materials. KPCorp offers a variety of communications, marketing, and packaging services, working with businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies of all sizes. With their help, Zeno will be able to produce our games in larger volumes with more durable materials, allowing us to serve many more families and have a longer-term impact than it would be possible with in-house production!
Lets Build It!
We were excited to partner with United Way’s Emerging Leaders program to construct our first set of newly designed and produced games, which were distributed to families in United Way’s Parent Child Home Program. Once game boxes and materials are printed, volunteer groups assist Zeno in constructing boxes and sorting out materials so they are ready to distribute to families. Thanks to everyone who made our first build with our new game design a success!
As we distribute games in our new format to families we will collect feedback on their accessibility and incorporate this feedback into future adjustments and design updates. We look forward to sharing the impacts of this new building process, and how we’re incorporating family feedback, with you in the future.
Check back next month to learn about our work with Purple Group, a strategic marketing and communications firm, to design and implement Family Discussion Groups, which will allow us collect feedback about our games and programs directly from families we serve!