Aug. 28, 2002 – The Weed and Seed program for young people on St. Croix is going high tech with the implementation of a software program to track participation called KidTrax.
According to a release from the program's Grove Place office, the software allows staff to print bar-coded identification cards for participants. The youngsters wave their ID cards in front of a scanner when entering and exiting a facility or beginning and ending an activity. The scanner automatically transmits time and attendance records to a database.
The data will help administrators and organizations that fund the program determine which activities positively affect the youthful members. "KidTrax generates the reports needed to track the attendance of students and help us with the statistics we need to apply for grants," site coordinator Denise Lewis said.
KidTrax replaces the organization's previous tracking system which required the staff to enter data manually into a computer to generate a spreadsheet. "It was a time-consuming process," Lewis said, and was never a priority until grant-writing time rolled around. Then staff would rush to get the data entered into the computer system.
Now, in a matter of seconds, she said, the staff can generate reports "we didn't dream about doing manually."
Lewis said using the KidTrax software program will free up instructors from data entry demands so that they can spend more time working with the youth in the Weed and Seed program.
Weed and Seed is a national initiative of the U.S. Justice Department, often referred to in local jurisdictions as the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The $5,000 software got its baptism on St. Croix with the Weed and Seed program's new reading and math enrichment program designed to raise skills in those areas. Money for the KidTrax program, developed by nFocus Software, came from Weed and Seed executive offices at the U.S. Justice Department.
The Grove Place Weed and Seed program expects to serve 180 children this fall in programs that include after-school tutorials, reading and math enrichment, banjo and calypso, quadrille, recreation, and computer skills. The program is called Weed and Seed because its objectives are to weed out crime and seed the community with human services.
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