Club Site Spotlight: Madison View
FOR THE GAZETTE
STEVENS POINT – Each summer, the Boys & Girls Club of Portage County opens a club within the Madison View Apartments to serve about 15-25 children who live in the apartment complex. This is a partnership with the Stevens Point Housing Authority. This year marks 20 years since first opening the doors at Madison View, and in those 20 years, over 500 children have been Club members.
Madison View Site Coordinator, Angela Potter, shared, “The kids love to learn how to cook; we call that program ‘Culinary Creaters’. We mainly teach them how to cook for themselves at home if they need to and how to do it safely. We teach knife safety, oven safety, cross-contamination, and proper kitchen sanitation for the members.”
This summer, staff members have noticed that many of the Club members are hungry before they go home and would like a dinner, so they have been using their program supply budget to make healthy dinners together. Dinner is not normally a meal the Club serves during the summer, but when staff members notice a need, they do whatever it takes to make sure every child’s needs are met. Staff are also serving lunches to more than just Club members. Children within the apartment complex stop by the Club for lunch, and staff are happy to serve any child that walks through those Club doors.
Angela also added, “Every year, our kids will wait outside the BGC door until our opening day, and they will continue to do that every day during the summer until I open the doors at 11 am. The kids here at Madison View, and even the kids who don’t attend Club, look at the BGC as a safe space, somewhere they can come to get food, clothes, hygiene supplies, tooth-brushing stuff, or even just somewhere to sleep or confide in staff. We work really hard on community-building activities and building relationships so the kids know they can always talk to the staff.”