Best Practice: Speed Dating

What do you do when you have to meet with 7 school resource contacts (RCs) and 7 core partners in 70 minutes? You speed-date!

Service members have one-on-one visits about early childhood and youth engagement efforts in their schools.

The work of the NE Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative is grounded in relationships and sometimes, juggling all the relationships is a monumental task.


The initiative has a school-centric model where each school wellness team creates an action plan to guide their work. The FoodCorps or AmeriCorps service member in that school helps the wellness team implement their plan. The service members are the boots-on-the-ground, and rely on the Operations team leaders for their experience and coaching.


Things get complicated quickly because each school is unique and a traditional team meeting does not always meet everyone’s needs. But short, 10-minute visits are just about right.


The FFI Operations team implemented the speed-dating model this year to conveniently connect with each RC every other month. The RC gets individualized time to visit with the FFI Operations team member leading the work in that strategy: farm to school, active living, youth engagement, early childhood, BMI research, etc.


The process worked great! The space allowed time for plenty of questions and reduced the amount of traveling needed for individual check-ins.


This is one of the ways FFI partners have been able to find success. Click here to see some of our other Best Practices.


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