KNOW – Kids Need Opportunities at Warner
KNOW (Kids Need Opportunities at Warner) supports the engaging activities and essential resources being made available to the rapidly-growing number of children who use the Warner Park Community Recreation Center (WPCRC) on a weekly basis and the Madison Parks Foundation is committed to raising funds to help this program thrive.
The WPCRC was opened in 1999 as the north side’s first community center. Like most community centers there were fees to use the facility. WPCRC had only one day of the week where teens could drop in and use the facility free of charge. On the other 6 days, youth were charged $1 per visit to WPCRC. Prior to 2018, limited scheduled hours of use and user fees provided a barrier to many neighborhood children being able to access the Center, resulting in only 350 visits from kids in an average month.
In 2018, staff and WPCRC Advisory Subcommittee removed the drop-in fees for children wanting to use the center and increased the hours of availability increased by almost 6 times as much. As a result of these changes, WPCRC has seen an explosion in use– the visits have increased to 785 per month in less than 6 months. Innovating programming – KNOW – Kids Need Opportunities at Warner are part of this success.
Currently, KNOW is comprised of four programs:
1. Teen Night: gives kids a positive environment to have a meal, hang out with friends as well as opportunities to learn about financial literacy and employment opportunities.
2. Family Fun Night: enjoy a night of bouncy houses, art projects, bingo, family fitness activities, movie screenings and more. Admission is a suggested $5 per family—but no one is turned away because they are unable to pay.
3. 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament Series: Kids from grades 6-12 compete in a round-robin tournament while enjoying a free meal, free skills clinics, live music and prizes donated from local businesses.
4. Youth Police Initiative (YPI), is the newest program at WPCRC and it encourages positive interaction between neighborhood youth and the neighborhood officers from Madison Police Department’s North District.
With the increased accessibility and the success of the KNOW programming, it is clear there is a positive impact they’re having on the surrounding neighborhoods with no commensurate increase in programming funds. Your support of KNOW will help programming grow in scope – providing more staff, more food and more equipment so that we can accommodate every kid who wants to participate.