© 2017 spark*5

All rights reserved.

317 7th Ave SE, Suite 401, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

319-398-5372   |   info@spark5.org

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Our Motivation

Why focus on 52404?

One of the main goals of the spark*5 initiative is to support kindergarten readiness. In the two focus neighborhoods in the 52404 zip code, only two in five kindergarteners are ready for school. In the Taylor and Westdale neighborhoods, we know other inequities exist. They include:

  • inadequate, unsafe, and limited low-income housing options;

  • lack of essential well-being services (e.g., health, child care) located in the neighborhood; and

  • inadequate public transportation

By addressing these fundamental needs as a collaborative, spark*5 can work as a team to not only break these barriers but we can help the families build the skills sets necessary to address any obstacles in the future. The team provides them with the tools necessary to harness positive opportunities for their families and work towards thriving in our community.

 

Spark*5 (families, providers, and communities) dives deeper to better understand the root causes and contributing factors to this opportunity gap and create a place to explore these issues and break the cycle of poverty in our community.

The Need

The Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) profiles neighborhoods in our community by criteria such as income, education, and availability of housing, transportation, and social services. According to the SVI, the Westdale and Taylor neighborhoods in zip code 52404 are the most vulnerable in Cedar Rapids.

The Opportunity 

Spark*5 is focused in zip code 52404 and specifically two neighborhoods, Taylor and Westdale.

Spark*5 is leveraging assets that already exist in Cedar Rapids and connecting them in unique ways to better support families. The information below is just the beginning of the community assets being leveraged to create a supportive and responsive system for families. Over time many more connections and opportunities will be woven together to create an extensive network.

  • Ladd Library and the Opportunity Center, located in the 52404 neighborhood, will serve as service and training hub

  • Emerging and existing neighborhood associations

  • An expressed desire among potential participants to provide the best life for their child

  • Diverse employment opportunities at all income and skill levels

  • A willingness and desire among existing organizations to create a collaborative approach to addressing issues of multigenerational poverty

Our Impact

Spark*5 has already begun to transform first time parent’s lives. Spark*5 participants and families will:

  • Have better paying jobs

  • Strengthen their parenting skills

  • Have healthier and more financially stable families

 

Spark*5 children will:

  • Be on track with developmental milestones

  • Enter kindergarten ready to learn