Spring Forward Learning Center (SFLC) provides free out-of-school time programs to individuals in Rock Island and Milan, Illinois who are in need of academic assistance. Our programs will serve more than 500 students and 50 adults in after-school and summer enrichment programs and adult literacy programs for English Learners. Our work is focused in neighborhoods and schools where we have identified the greatest needs.
The families we serve face many obstacles that can potentially derail their journey to a healthy, rewarding and productive life. Our out-of-school time and literacy programs help our children and families by inspiring learning, providing safe and supportive environments, and giving students the essential support they need to succeed.
Spring Forward was originally created in 1999 as a mission project at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Rock Island, Illinois. The volunteer tutoring program was supported by the generosity of church members and served fewer than 40 students from Audubon Elementary School. The original purpose of the program was to provide a safe after-school environment for children coupled with a little extra help with homework. In 2007, the growing need for after-school programming motivated the church to create a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization to support additional schools within the Rock Island community.
In 2009, SFLC opened a second after-school campus at First Presbyterian Church in Milan to serve students from Ridgewood and Thomas Jefferson Elementary Schools. Since that year, after-school programs and summer enrichment camps have been steadily added each year.
In June 2015, SFLC moved its administrative offices to the Rock Island-Milan School District Administration Center. The move helped SFLC foster close working relationships with key district staff, increase its network of community partners through its on-going affiliation with Check & Connect partners, and gain increased access to resources needed to continually expand and improve its community-based out-of-school programs. By 2016, Spring Forward’s expansion grew to include after-school programs and summer camps and other programs reaching more 500 students at six different sites and strategic partnerships with the Martin Luther King Center and Rock Island Library.
Timeline & Growth
- After School Program started by Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Rock Island
- Serves students from Audubon Elementary School in Rock Island
- Spring Forward Learning Center becomes a 501©3 not-for-profit organization
- Program structure changed to serve 15 students per night in highly structured tutoring sessions with program staff and volunteers
- Second campus opened at First Presbyterian Church in Milan to serve students from Ridgewood and Thomas Jefferson Elementary Schools
- Third campus was opened at Frances Willard Elementary to serve English Language Learners
- Fourth location was open at Church of Peace to serve students from Rock Island Academy
- SFLC hosts two Summer Enrichment Programs to bridge summer learning loss at Frances Willard and Longfellow Elementary Schools.
- Program structure changes at Frances Willard to serve 45 students, three nights per week with program staff and volunteers
- Third Summer Enrichment Program opens at Thomas Jefferson Elementary
- Program structure changes to serve up to 50 students, three nights a week. Program locations moved into the schools of the students being served. SFLC works with certified teachers from the school to provide educational lessons for the students.
- Fourth Summer Enrichment Program opens at Rock Island Academy
- Program structure changes at Frances Willard to serve all students, five nights per week.
- Started managing Family Literacy Program at Church of Peace for English Learners.
SFLC provides free after-school educational and enrichment programs in five elementary schools in the Rock Island Milan School District. Our program includes:
SFLC partners with Quad City Area Children’s Food Program in efforts to ensure that students in the Rock Island-Milan School District do not go home hungry. Research shows students achieve higher levels of understanding and thinking when provided with nutritional meals. QCACFP has been working with Spring Forward since its inception to provide this service to our students and their families.
SFLC hires and works with professional teachers from each program’s school to provide the educational component of our program. The teachers from the school understand our students’ individual learning needs and adapt their lessons to meet those needs. SFLC strives to connect schools and communities together in order to help achieve student success in and out of the classroom.
SFLC believes in providing students a number of learning opportunities that extend outside the classroom. SFLC collaborates with a number of community partners to supplement our educational enrichment and to introduce our students with multiple perspectives.
SFLC believes that community support and collaboration are the keys to success to meet the needs of our students and families. Our partners provide much needed support so that SFLC can focus on students’ academic needs.
SFLC collaborates with a number of community organizations, including but not limited to:
- Rock Island-Milan School District #41
- City of Rock Island
- Rock Island Public Library
- Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church
- Two Rivers YMCA
- Quad City Area Children’s Food Program
- United Way
- Augustana College
- John Deere
- Figge Art Museum
- Putnam Museum
- Ballet Quad Cities
- River Music Experience
- Quad City Botanical Center
- Illinois Extension Office