This fall, over 100 Quad City parents participated in a series of “Parent Cafés”. A Parent Café offers a combination of knowledge and mutual support building related to the challenges of parenting.

posted on March 28, 2013

The Quad Cities is one of 10 communities selected into the catalytic phase of the Target/United Way/Strive Learning Cohort to advance the work of Achieve Quad Cities.

This is a valuable partnership between Target, United Way, and Strive that will benefit this community as well as improve the field of practice of backbone organizations generally, enhance cradle-to-career partnerships nationally, and potentially bring about success in addressing critical education issues at an unprecedented scale, with more communities working more effectively to help children realize opportunity.

Project Scope

To achieve the greatest impact in the shortest amount of time, this work will take place over a period of 18 months after the selection of sites. The 18-month process will be segmented into two phases outlined below:

Catalytic Phase: A cohort of up to 10 local United Ways will be invited to take part in a six-month catalytic phase where they will receive strategic assistance from the UWW and Strive team who will work together to assess the communities’ readiness to sustain the civic infrastructure over the long-term. This support will include biweekly calls with each site, monthly calls with the entire cohort around issues that are being faced commonly across sites, and a site visit to help drive the work forward. There is no funding in this phase.

Mobilization Group: The original cohort will be narrowed to include up to six sites that will receive twelve months of ongoing coaching and support from UWW and Strive as well as up to $50,000 in funding. The support for each site will be tailored to meet their unique needs as outlined during the catalytic phase. In addition, regular cohort calls and meetings will be scheduled around topics that are critical for the entire cohort to address and learn more about. These meetings will also serve as a time to capture lessons and develop new tools and resources for the field as a whole. The four sites not selected to be a part of the Mobilization Group will have access to tools, templates, and other resources from the Strive Network, to facilitate continuation of their cradle-to-career work.

Selection Criteria

  • Demonstrated and recognized history of leadership in the community to drive systems-level reform. 

  • Willingness to adopt the Strive Framework for Building Cradle to Career Civic Infrastructure as a guide in the development of the local partnership. 

  • Commitment of a core team of 5 to 7 cross-sector community leaders to engage in championing and guiding the development of the work. 

  • Identification of a staff person to work at least 75 percent of their time project managing the work during this six-month process. 

  • Evidence of data-driven decision making.

  • Clear willingness to identify, adopt, and transparently report on a concrete set of student outcomes across the cradle to career continuum. Strong preference given to sites that include 3rd grade reading as one of these outcomes. 

  • Clear willingness to identify, adopt, and transparently report on a concrete set of process outcomes.



Melanie JonesIn the News