GoRead.pk: Changing lives, spreading smiles and educating through read-aloud storytelling
Technology | design
GoRead.pk wanted to promote reading amongst students from lower and lower-middle socioeconomic classes. To achieve this, they needed to digitize their volunteer onboarding and session management processes.
A mobile app and web portal, where volunteers can sign up to conduct storytelling sessions. Through the same platform, GoRead can verify their credentials and grant them access to sessions.
The startup successfully completed its pilot project, where 26 volunteers read stories aloud to more than 500 students, completing 156 sessions in total. Each student received 4 hours of story read-aloud experiences over a period of 6 weeks.
seizing the opportunity
Envisioning a Pakistan where all children love to read
Pakistan today faces an education crisis of unprecedented proportions. With a public-school system rife with dilapidated facilities, chronic teacher understaffing and absenteeism, the importance of providing children with access to attractive and engaging stories is not a priority nor is it even a consideration.
Children in the majority of classrooms in Pakistan do not have the opportunity to listen to developmentally appropriate stories with strong learning outcomes, which can help them gain a deeper insight into their culture. The most impactful way to achieve that is through read-aloud story sessions, conducted by caring adults who are articulate and expressive in the languages the students speak and study.
GoRead.pk realizes that in order for children to develop a love for reading, story listening experiences must be reinforced by the opportunity to read independently. Children must have access to storybooks that are appealing and joyful. Research shows that joyful story read-aloud sessions develop students’ language skills, contribute to their personal development and play a role in improving their future, one story at a time.
CREATING THE SOLUTION
Adopting automation via web portal & mobile apps
To expand the scope of this project, the leadership at GoRead.pk reached out to VentureDive, expressing an interest to go digital. Their requirement was a mobile app and a web portal, where people could interact with GoRead.pk and signup to become volunteers. GoRead.pk, through the same platform, could verify their credentials and grant them access to sessions. In addition, volunteers would also be able to select their preferred sessions and book them on-spot. Before they joined forces with VentureDive, GoRead.pk carried out all these processes manually.
For children, security is essential. GoRead.pk needed to make sure they only register and onboard secure and legitimate volunteer instructors. The development team at VentureDive built an Admin Web Platform using React JS, backend using Java and iOS & Android Mobile Apps using Flutter technology. Through the admin portal, GoRead.pk is able to verify, onboard and train the volunteers, as well as assign them reading sessions that match their schedules.
Furthermore, volunteers can use the GoRead.pk mobile apps to access the numerous study materials related to the assigned books, available with GoRead.pk, and prepare for their sessions beforehand. What’s more, is that the apps contain videos that help volunteers learn about the books and issues being discussed therein. At the end of each session, they can use the same apps to leave feedback for the GoRead.pk management team, which helps them improve upon future sessions.
Transforming User Experience at VentureDive’s world-class design studio
During the development phase, we had continuous check-ins with the GoRead.pk team. The user experience designers at VentureDive learned their pain points and designed a solution to meet their needs. We made sure to make the transition into the digital space a smooth one for GoRead.pk, through immaculate and interactive experiences. Side by side, we made wireframes and prototypes, and got them approved by the team as we went along. GoRead.pk required a solution that was easy and simple to use, and intuitive to navigate — we delivered exactly that and more.
CELEBRATING THE SUCCESS
Moving forward: Future Roadmap
Currently, GoRead.pk conducts reading sessions at government-funded schools, old age homes, and orphanages. These sessions differ in nature depending on the audience — while read-aloud sessions at schools and orphanages are fairly structured with volunteers reading to the same children for six consecutive sessions at an assigned time, once a week, the GoRead.pk volunteers also accompany The Robinhood Army on their food drive visits to slums and read stories to the children there. GoRead.pk plans on creating an online library for students. The goal is to make books accessible to underprivileged students across the subcontinent, educate them, connect them with each other, and impress upon them the value of education & reading experiences.
VentureDive looks forward to continuing to work with GoRead.pk and helping them grow and evolve within the EdTech industry and beyond.
— Working with VentureDive has been immensely rewarding, as well as a learning experience for us. Together we envision using our app to bring all stakeholders involved with developing joyful reading habits in children together on one platform and paving the path for a Pakistan where all children love to read.