A Targeted Solution Helps Drive Our Impact

November 24, 2020

United Way, Cradle to Career (C2C) and Rochester Public Schools (RPS) are continuously searching for ways to increase their positive impact on children. How does this team really know that they are having the desired impact? Reviewing results allows them to better manage data, track participation, and document progress across programs, services, and locations. With the addition of Cityspan the team is confident they can better track, analyze, and ultimately improve their impact.

Cityspan is data management system for tracking social service programs, funding, and outcomes. It can help ensure accountability and drive analysis that helps identify ways to improve a team’s performance. Cityspan incorporates school-based data with internally generated data. The solution’s data analysis capability enables a team to look at the impact of specific organizations and their programs and identify ways to tailor services to better fit current needs.

Steps Being Taken

Currently, United Way and C2C are partnering with RPS to incorporate the Cityspan solution into their environment. This solution is a nexus of United Way’s collective impact efforts. The first year of using this solution is focused on 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

21st Century Community Learning Centers provide academic enrichment opportunities for children during non-school hours. The mission is to help students meet state and local standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math. They offer students a broad array of enrichment activities, complementing regular academic programs. Literacy and other educational services for families of participating children may also be available.

Key characteristics of these centers are:

  • Many of the efforts are school-based learning
  • Primarily enrichment programming, with a variety of programming options
  • Services are provided at low or no cost to students and their families

These centers focus on children at the following schools:

  • Elementary schools (Gage, Riverside, Rochester Alternative Learning Center)
  • Middle schools (Friedell, John Adams, Kellogg, Willow Creek)
  • High schools (John Marshal, Century)

In addition, some community-based partners are providing these services.

Great Progress is Being Made

We are seeing a lot of forward momentum on the project and have a shared vision for the future. Multiple cross-sector stakeholders have been engaged and are collaborating with our team. This effort has been 4-5 years in the making and a work activity that is finally coming to fruition. Having this great opportunity is energizing the team.

Challenges to Overcome

The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed all aspects of reporting, data collection, and many other ways of tracking progress. The team has been very, very busy getting the new system working effectively and getting related activities completed. For example, because we have multiple stakeholders everything needs to be communicated and reinforced with them. Because this project has been a long time in the making expectations are high and that translates into increased pressure to deliver.

While this project is both challenging and taxing we are all excited to be working on it in partnership with RPS and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

Additional Information

For additional information on topics covered in the blog post, see the following:

Cityspan: https://www.cityspan.com/

21st Century Community Learning Centers in Rochester: https://www.rochesterce.org/enrichment/youth/21cclc

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