By now, you know that text messaging is a powerful way to reach students. Peer Health Exchange (PHE) is one of the latest organizations to experience the increased engagement of a text messaging program. PHE is a nonprofit organization committed to providing quality health education to students at high-need schools. Lisa Flynn and Anthony Sawyer from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health recently analyzed the results of PHE’s text messaging program.
Over the last 13 years, PHE has helped more than 100,000 ninth-graders across the country make smart, healthy decisions by providing information about sexual health, substance abuse, and mental health. PHE’s 13-week curriculum is taught by trained college student volunteers. In 2015, PHE partnered with Signal Vine to deliver targeted text messages to students in Chicago and San Francisco.
The text messaging program included links to helpful health resources, information that supported curriculum concepts, and short multiple-choice quizzes. Across both cities, 30.5% of students who received multiple-choice questions responded to the quiz. Of those who responded, 75% replied within one hour. Overall, total engagement in the program increased at both sites.