Viewpoint: Community collaboration powers Spring Forward success

ampadmin | March 7th, 2019

In the year 2030, the children in our Spring Forward programs will be going off to college, entering the workforce and beginning their adult lives. We know that for them to be successful, they need the support of their families, schools and the community. We are so proud to be part of a caring community that understands these are our kids, and we all need to play a part.

A scene from Spring Forward’s 2018 Kids on Campus summer program at Augustana College.

The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce’s Q2030 Regional Action Plan recognizes we must bridge the gap between what our children are learning and what they need to succeed in the world. It also identifies the need to create a welcoming community, in which all people are embraced and have an equal opportunity for success. This is Spring Forward.

THE Spring Forward Party on March 9 will showcase our 30-plus partners that provide high-quality curriculum and activities for our after-school, summer and family literacy programs. The public event at the Figge Art Museum will feature a slideshow and special toast acknowledging their efforts as well as live music, hors d’oeuvres and raffles. We also will celebrate on Facebook, highlighting a different partner organization each day of March.

About Spring Forward

Spring Forward provides literacy programs at no cost to families in the Rock Island-Milan School District. For the 2018-19 school year and summer, our programs are projected to serve more than 600 students in after-school and summer enrichment programs and 50 adults in our adult literacy programs. Our Stepping Up for Summer Learning event at the TaxSlayer Center brings the summer learning community together, hosting more than 800 children from camps in Iowa and Illinois. We have grown every year for the past five years largely because the Rock Island-Milan School District, Day and Deere Foundations and United Way recognize the great community need.

See our annual report for more details.

Our partners (summer 2018 and 2018-19 school year)

Augustana College; Benedictine Sisters of Saint Mary Monastery; Church of Peace; Down by the Creek Companion Animal Sanctuary; Family Museum; Family Resources; Figge Art Museum; First Presbyterian Church; Milan; Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois; John Deere Lego League; Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center; Living Lands and Waters; Milan Hy-Vee; Nahant Marsh Education Center; Niabi Zoo; Putnam Museum; Quad City Arts; Quad Cities Botanical Center; River Music Experience; Rock Island Art Guild; Rock Island Hy-Vee; Rock Island Public Library; Scott County Conservation District; St. Ambrose University; Two Rivers YMCA; University of Illinois Extension; WQPT-TV; Youth Hope

Dan McNeil, executive director, Spring Forward

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