How, When & Why?

Why do we value strong and healthy partnerships?

For Hive Chicago and After School Matters, healthy organizational partnerships help our community build interest, drive learning pathways for youth, create more equitable access to learning experiences for all young people, and create innovative opportunities that can spread beyond any one organization.

Healthy partnerships provide resilience to challenges and an opportunity to spread good ideas that work.

These partnerships:

  • encourage organizations to become familiar with each other’s work and audience, and be ready to receive learners they don’t usually serve;
  • help organizations to develop or bring new resources into places of need and enable organizations to share expertise;
  • support experimentation and innovation that is usually risky when done alone but more resilient when tested and replicated by partners;
  • spread best practices and successful programs through collaboration.

An Example Partnership:
Safe Passages for Teen Skaters and Bikers

When West Town Bikes (WTB)—a community based organization and After School Matters service provider in the Humboldt Park neighborhood known for exceptional career pathway opportunities and bike safety training for young people—was looking to bring broader awareness to their successful programs and add digital media expertise to their staff, they came to After School Matters for support.

Capitalizing on their relationships via the Hive Network, After School Matters staff approached Free Spirit Media—a community based organization working in North Lawndale and Greater Grand Crossing well-known for their experience with youth media programming, also an After School Matters partner—to see if there might be an opportunity to partner with WTB.

With the support of Hive staff and After School Matters, West Town Bikes and Free Spirit Media collaborated on a proposal to the Hive Fund for Connected Learning, which issues a twice-yearly Request for Proposals available to Hive members. Their funded project was called “Safe Passages for Teen Skaters and Bikers”, and you can learn more about their incredible success and work via their Hive Chicago Portfolio Page.

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