Sprockets St. Paul

Afterschool Program Finder

Sprockets website, responsive design
Sprockets website, responsive design

Sprockets is a collaboration between community organizations, public schools and the city of St. Paul.

It was created to highlight out-of-school and after-school activities for kids around the city, while promoting partnerships, learning, culture and equity. Sprockets began with a basic website, but came to Electric Citizen to create a more vibrant, engaging and powerful website.

Building online tools

Sprockets needed a website that was more than just information. They needed applications. One of the key applications for the website is the Program Finder. The Program Finder is where city schools and community organizations can post information about their out-of-school programming, and connect with area youth.

Site editors can import data from a 3rd party database where program information is managed, or import program data from spreadsheets given to them by these organizations. Members of these organizations can also login on their own to upload or edit program data. Visitors to the site can use the Program Finder to search for programs on a map, using geolocation to find programs near to their location, or search by keywords and other taxonomy terms such as age.

Another online tool built by Electric Citizen for the site was the Job Finder. Similar to the Program Finder, the Job Finder was designed for visitors to search and filter content–but instead of afterschool programs, the focus was on summer jobs. The Job Finder allowed 1,000s of area teens to create accounts online and flag opportunities they were interested in pursuing. This tools worked to connect teens to job providers, and give them valuable work experience. The Job Finder has since moved off the site to a 3rd party system and program, after several years of successfully running under the main domain.

Creating an online brand

A site targeting city youth needed to be energetic and bold. The client’s existing branding had distressed type, vibrant colors and interesting gears, circles, and stars. The new design utilized the color palette of gold, green, sky blue and orange, while introducing large headlines, paint splatters and other interesting textures to extend the brand online.

Ongoing partnership

Electric Citizen continues to support and maintain the Sprockets website, adding improvements to the program finder and yearly updates to the summer job finder.

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