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Women United

improving young lives

Since 2011, Women United has brought caring women together to improve the lives of our youngest Quad Citizens. Women United investors believe that every child deserves to be ready to succeed in school and live their best possible life. 
Nearly 200 Women United investors have raised and invested nearly $5.5 million in research-based strategies to support quality childcare and early learning experiences for our youngest Quad Citizens. They also created an annual grant process where they fund quality child care opportunities for families and education and retention of child care providers in the Quad Cities. 
We invite you to join in these efforts!


Quality early learning experiences are key drivers of school readiness, vital to improving high school graduation rates and critical to our region’s future economic well-being. And our Quad Cities kids need attention.

The statistics tell the story 

  • 1 in 6 kids in the Quad Cities starts kindergarten without the skills needed to succeed. 
  • A child who is not ready for kindergarten is twice as likely not to be ready at grade-level by 3rd grade.
  • Third grade is a pivotal point; if you fall behind, chances are you may stay there the rest of your life.
    Students unable to read at grade level by the end of third grade are 4X more likely to drop out of high school. 
  • Opportunity and achievement gaps are particularly pronounced for low-income and minority students.

Our programs

Born Learning is an initiative started by Women United in 2015 to engage parents as their child’s first & best teacher.
We know what happens in a child’s early years is fundamental to growth, development and success. Born Learning has several strategies to support early learning:
  • Born Learning Academy – 6-week program offering practical tips and tools to help parents and caregivers provide quality early learning opportunities for young children. Parents who complete the Academy can enroll in a second series – Born Learning 2.0 – to continue honing their parenting skills and building relationships with other parents. 
  • Born Learning Calendar – 365 days of fun, everyday learning moments for parents to engage with their children.
  • Born Learning Texting Campaign – messages 3 or 4 times a week to prompt parents of kids ages 0-5 to take part in learning activities with their children. [Text bornlearning to 95577 to sign-up!]

QC Tutor Connection unites students with tutors for educational success — and it’s made possible thanks to investments by Women United donors.

Education opens doors, broadens horizons and creates a pathway to success. But in these unprecedented times, as COVID-19 continues to create challenges, learning is tough. Get support and get your student back on track in school through Quad Cities Tutor Connection, an easy-to-access tutor connecting site for parents with students in grades K-12. Tutors are college students, college graduates and retired teachers with the experience and knowledge to assist with a range of coursework.
Learn how you can become a tutor or find a tutor at Financial assistance is available for students and families. Contact Alex Kolker at to learn more.



INVEST: Contribute to Women United and support top-notch early learning programs and activities. Your donations ensure that children have safe, enriching learning environments and receive services that improve their health, well-being and development. 
ADVOCATE: Lend your voice to our outreach and education efforts and engage elected leaders around issues that improve children’s health and development, including affordable, quality childcare for families of all income levels.
VOLUNTEER: Participate in hands-on activities, including reading with kids in the critical year before kindergarten, assisting families at Born Learning Academies, developing Born Learning Trails, building literacy kits to improve students’ reading skills, donating books and more.



  • Raised $2.5 million toward the building of the new Scott County Family YMCA Learning Center in downtown Davenport.
  • Invested $275,000 to improve local child care and education facilities and support training and professional development for local providers.
  • More than 950 local children and families have graduated from Born Learning Academies that have been hosted by 22 Quad Cities organizations.
  • 1,000 families receive a minimum of 3 text messages a week with activities and tips for turning everyday moments into teaching moments.
  • 90,000 Born Learning calendars have been distributed since 2015, with 365 days of activities for parents to do with their children.

For more information about Women United or their initiatives contact Leslee Cook at or 563.344.0321.