In The News

In The News: As youth agencies plan for fall, they draw on lessons learned from the summer

From Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service – “Because events are held at the popular Kosciuszko Park, MCC’s Youth Program Manager Brian Stewart said limiting groups also helps reduce interactions with the public.

A challenge for all organizations is finding activities that are engaging while also socially distant.

“Initially we thought games like soccer could work, because you’re just kicking a ball around,” Stewart said. “But unless you only practice drills, you’ll inevitably have kids breathing [on] and touching each other due to the competitive nature of the game.”

“…The MCC’s Stewart said the summer forced his organization to become even more focused on its neighborhoods.

“We were very building-centric before — a lot of our summer programs were inside,” Stewart said. “Now we’re constantly looking for ways to get youth involved in their own neighborhood and build a lasting testament to their involvement in their own community.” Full coverage can be found here

Youth Artists Paints Wall

In The News: Muskego Way residents create community-engaged mural

From Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service – Community artist Tia Richardson and her community collaborators did not let the pandemic stop them from finishing the third in a series of murals that stretch over 200 feet along West Forest Home Avenue.

Richardson and a team of eight youth artist interns spent a month collaborating to create the mural, which is named “Together as one heart.”

The project is a collaboration of Richardson, Milwaukee Christian Center and Muskego Way Forward Initiative, with financial support from MPS Partnership for the Arts and Humanities, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and the City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention. Full coverage can be found here

Coach Melvin White runs drills with Pulaski High School players

In the News: Coach Demands his Students Score on and Off the Court

From Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service – “White worked a variety of jobs including as a manager at Walmart before transitioning to youth work. In 2018, he was hired as a youth adviser at MPS for the Milwaukee Christian Center, first working at Bradley Tech High School and now Pulaski. Pulaski High School shares a building and basketball team with MPS charter, Carmen High School of Science & Technology’s Southeast Campus…”

“Everybody is at a 3.0 GPA or higher,” said White. It’s an extraordinary accomplishment at a school where the graduation rate is 54 percent and student achievement score is 6.9 compared with a statewide average for high school students of 59.8, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s 2018-’19 school report card data.

The school has fared much better in measures that track school growth and the closing of gaps in English language arts, mathematics and graduation rates.

“We’re not just trying to make them better players, we’re trying to make them better people,” White said. “I think sometimes they’re not used to having somebody pour in and invest in them, and when you do that, it makes them invest in themselves.”

One player who has benefited from that approach is Dallas Lorona, a 17-year-old junior who transferred to Pulaski from Bay View this year. White began keepings tabs on Lorona months before the season even started, once ordering him to do 200 pushups as punishment for getting caught walking the halls.

“If I didn’t have Coach White or basketball, I’d probably be getting in trouble,” Lorona said.

“Everything he does is to make us work for a better future and to be ready for that next level of life on and off the court.” Full coverage can be found here