Hooked on School Days 2015 – A new mobile app and forum for sharing tips and encouraging teens
For immediate release
Montreal, February 9, 2015 - On the occasion of the 2015 edition of Hooked on School Days to be held across Quebec from February 16 to 20, the Réseau des Instances régionales de concertation (IRC) sur la persévérance scolaire et la réussite éducative du Québec (Quebec network of joint action forums on student retention and educational success) and its financial partner Réunir Réussir (R²) are proud to launch the innovative new mobile app "Adogotchi" and discussion forum letsencouragethem.com (encourageonsles.com). The purpose of these tools is to remind adults of the importance of encouraging young people in their efforts to achieve success.
"In the fight against dropping out, maintaining daily contact with the young people in our lives is one of the keys to success. This new forum and the Adogotchi app give adults-parents or other significant figures-a platform for sharing their tips for encouraging teens and finding out how they can have an impact in their lives," explained Katya Pelletier, spokesperson for the IRC network and coordinator of the committee for academic perseverance and success in Quebec's Mauricie region. "Adults can make a difference in so many ways, such as providing a good example, recognizing achievements without imposing unrealistic expectations, encouraging reading from a very young age, or regularly asking about their children's lives at school."
Adogotchi: a virtual teen helps adults discover and share ways to encourage the young people in their lives
Developed by lg2 and inspired by the popular virtual pet simulation game Tamagotchi, Adogotchi features a virtual teen whose mood changes depending on the encouragement he or she receives. In difficult situations when teenagers are tempted to check out, notifications are sent to the user, who is prompted to find creative ways to encourage his or her "Adogotchi." A quiz on academic perseverance and the risks of dropping out raises users' awareness of the impact they can have on a young person's life. Acting as a content generator, Adogotchi is linked to the letsencouragethem.com forum. Ideas shared by users are added to others found on the Internet. The app will be available free of charge starting on February 16 on the Apple Store, and on Google Play in the weeks following.
Letsencouragethem.com : A bank of ideas for encouraging young people
Letsencouragethem.com is a dynamic, interactive Internet platform that lets users share tips for encouraging their teens on a day-to-day basis. The site offers countless ideas for supporting young people in situations that could affect their motivation to stay in school. Ideas can be shared, commented and continually improved on social networks, keeping the dialogue on educational success open. Useful information on student retention is also available.
Staying focused on academic perseverance
The rate of high school graduation and qualification in Quebec is close to 76%, up an appreciable 7% since 2006-2007. Dropping out continues to be a major expense for Quebec society, however, with the resulting loss in earnings totalling $1.9 billion every year. On a personal level, not only is the annual income of young people who leave school before obtaining their high school diploma lower than that of their qualified counterparts, their rate of unemployment is higher and their life expectancy, shorter.
"Our efforts to keep students in school are producing good results. Like our young people, however, we must persevere in achieving our goal of academic success and stay focused on the objective set by the Quebec government: to achieve a high school graduation and qualification rate of 80% among young people 20 and under by 2020," said Sophie Harnois, Executive Director of R².
Thousands of activities across Quebec
Launched in 2005, Hooked on School Days (Journées de la persévérance scolaire) are held throughout the province, coordinated by IRCs in its 17 administrative regions. In 2014, over 380,000 young people were involved in at least one of the 4,500 activities proposed by the IRCs and carried out by schools and organizations throughout Quebec.
Working together, R², the Quebec IRCs and their regional partners have invested close to $100 million in over 1,600 actions aimed at supporting children and youth between the ages of 3 to 20 as well as their parents. Projects include one-on-one tutoring and mentoring programmes or homework assistance, high school entrepreneurship projects, extracurricular sports, science, art and cultural activities, early literacy projects, and parenting skills workshops.
To find out more about Hooked on School activities, visit Letsencouragethem.com or follow the forum on Facebook or Twitter @JPS_HSD or #JPS2015.
About the Réseau des Instances régionales de concertation
The Instances régionales de concertation (IRC) sur la persévérance scolaire et la réussite éducative du Québec (Quebec network of joint action forums on student retention and educational success) that are active in the province's 17 administrative regions are a rallying point for actors working to further the education success of Quebec students. The IRCs' role is to mobilize regional actors and develop local partnerships to focus on education success. Since every IRC is unique, each one can focus on the specific needs of the region it serves.
About Réunir Réussir (R2)
Réunir Réussir (R²) is a non-profit organization that was created in 2009 further to a partnership agreement between the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation and the Secrétariat à la jeunesse du gouvernement du Québec (Quebec youth secretariat). R² acts as a unifying force, bringing together stakeholders dedicated to the educational success of Quebec youth. The organization concentrates on mobilizing IRCs and local communities in order to create the conditions for success that will have a positive impact on the high school graduation rate. Thanks to a jointly financed investment fund of $50 million, R² is able to provide financial support for hundreds of action plans on the ground that affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people 20 and under across the entire province of Quebec.
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For more information:
514 317-5715, ext. 205