Collaborative Work Groups

Work groups facilitated by the Westside Collaborative are constantly taking action in the West Grand Rapids neighborhoods. Each year, member organizations listen, ask, survey, and observe the needs of their constituents. Relevant issues are suggested to the Westside Collaborative as areas of focus for the calendar year. The Westside Collaborative staff and appointed Leadership Team gauge the opportunities and narrow an extensive list down to four urgent matters that Westside nonprofit organizations can move the needle on.

The 2018 Areas of Focus are:

  • Resident Development
  • Sense of Belonging
  • Early Childhood Literacy
  • Family Engagement in the Public Schools (information coming soon!)
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Resident Development

Desired Outcome: Westside residents hold community leadership positions.


  • Increase in Westside residents on Collaborative members’ nonprofit boards
  • Increase in Westside residents on City commissions and committees
  • Increase in Collaborative members whose board policy/practice incorporates inclusivity
  • Increase in Collaborative members whose board policy/practice incorporates equitable access
  • Increase in Westsiders registered in data platform

Initial Project: Compile a directory of educational and leadership programs on the Westside and raise awareness of these programs with Westside residents.

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Sense of Belonging

Outcome: Westsiders participate in activities that advance the public good.


  • Number of participants at selected community events
  • Number of people registered to vote by the Collaborative
  • Number of people voting who were registered by the Collaborative

Outcome: Westside organizations cultivate connections that help community thrive.


  • Number of community events hosted by members with bilingual support
  • Number business endorsements of “I am Westside”

Outcome: Westside residents are supported by and accepted in their community.


  • People indicate they are informed about community events that affect them
  • People report adequate social support
  • People report a sense of membership on the Westside
  • People report an emotional connection to the Westside

Initial Project: Promote community pride through the “I AM WESTSIDE” initiative through media, events, and stakeholder buy-in.

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Early Childhood Literacy

Desire Outcome: A commonly trained network of early literacy volunteers.


  • Number of qualified literacy volunteers
  • Students show growth as measured by MAP data

Initial Project: Develop common training for K-1 volunteers designed around evidence-based practices in early literacy.