Dear friends and neighbors,

Kids will be kids. We’ve all heard it, said it many times. But these last few months, with the heaviness all around us, it doesn’t feel like our kids have been able to just be kids.
This is why it’s been such a delight for me to see our playground busy with preschool kids. To see our elementary classes taking off to explore our neighborhood. To hear our teens in the classrooms downstairs in the Brassworks building.
Kids need good, plain summer fun. (We could all use a little of that, right?)
One of those kids is 9-year-old Navid. Navid started with GCC last summer, and he’s back again this year. When the coronavirus closed schools, Navid’s mom Kearra – a full-time student at Madison College – was left figuring out how to balance being a full-time student and a full-time mom to Navid and his three siblings.
It was hard. Impossibly hard.
“Mixing the two was a battle every day,” Kearra told me. “When I was doing well in school, I wasn’t being the best mom. When I was outside with my kids, it was a great day, but I was failing school. I just couldn’t win.”
And Navid was missing his friends. He was tired of hanging out with his younger siblings. He needed kids his own age.

So he was so excited to start back at the Goodman Center this summer – and you can imagine how happy that made his mom.

Now, Navid is biking around the neighborhood with his GCC class, doing science experiments outside, getting to just be a kid playing with other kids his own age. And Kearra is able to focus on school again – to catch up where she fell behind.

What a life-changing gift.

Together, we can help lots of kids like Navid have a fun and memorable summer – AND help moms (and dads) like Kearra be the parents they want to be.

Please be safe, be well and take care of each other,

Becky Steinhoff, Executive Director
P.S. I know not everyone is in the position to make a gift right now. If you’re struggling with your own stresses, please don’t feel pressured. But if you’re in a placed to help, the GCC classrooms are filled with children ages 3 through 18. Your gift will give a kid a summer to remember!
These Kids Are Having FUN!
Summer at the Goodman Center is the best time of the year, hands down. And though our teachers and staff had to make some adjustments to our programs for young people due to COVID-19, they have already found plenty of ways to have fun. Our littlest littles – the preschoolers – are playing on the playground and in the splash pad, and taking walks to nearby parks. For the elementary summer campers, it’s science experiments and urban nature walks, bike rides down Madison’s many bike paths and canoe outings at Olbrich Park.
And in the LOFT teen center, our middle school group has taken gardening at the Goodman Youth Farm into their own hands. Our usual summer partner, Rooted, is not offering in-person programming this summer, but they are offering some direction to LOFT teachers Howard and Alex, and those two are bringing middle schoolers to the gardens twice a week to plant crops, do projects and harvest the Rooted gardens. These intrepid young people have also taken trips downtown to study art as activism and gotten out on kayaks and canoes at Brittingham Park.
You can see that there’s plenty of fun to be had this summer, fun that is possible because of generous and caring supporters like you. Thank you!

Check Out the Latest Issue
The latest issue of Eastside News has reached mailboxes and newsstands around the Madison community. Be sure to check out the issue in person or online to read about the incredible legacy of Executive Director Becky Steinhoff and so much more of what’s happening in the community.

The Splash Pad is Open!
We’re happy to announce the Goodman Center splash pad is now open to the public during non-program hours!
Public hours:
Monday - Friday: 4pm - 9pm
Saturday - Sunday: 9am - 9pm
Some guidelines we ask that you follow:
  • The Splash Pad is closed to the public during program hours (Monday - Friday, 8am-4pm).
  • Physical distancing will be self-monitored.
  • Limit use to 10 people (including adults) at a time.
  • Keep 6 feet apart whenever possible.
  • Wear a mask when you can't distance.

Take Action for Afterschool
Will you stand up for afterschool? The coronavirus has been hard on every corner of our country, and our afterschool communities are not immune. The Afterschool Alliance is organizing an effort to urge Congress to take action to support the important work of afterschool education providers like the Goodman Center. Learn more .

Drive-Thru Food Pantry
Tues. 9:30 a.m. – noon. Wed. 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Thurs. 12:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.

All are welcome – no need to call ahead. Food is distributed in the Ironworks building parking lot, 149 Waubesa Street, Madison.

Neighborhood Dinners
The Center is managing a neighborhood meal distribution three days a week. Wed. & Thurs. individual dinners Fri. two family-style meals + pantry bag

For delivery in Darbo/Worthington and Brentwood neighborhoods:
Contact Sara at 608-807-4984 or email and tell her your address AND how many meals you’d like. We’ll knock or ring your doorbell between 3:30-4:30 p.m. as we leave the meal on your doorstep.

For delivery to Carbon & Generations @ Union Corners :
Contact Fran Augustine at 608-242-4400 or email and tell her h ow many meals you’d like. Meals will be delivered between  3:30-4:30 p.m.  to the community room, labeled for you.

Sign up once, then you’ll continue receiving meals weekly. Contact Sara or Fran to cancel. More info, including the menu here (scroll to bottom of the page).
“ Thank you so much for the work you all are doing in our community. Although we can't help in a hands-on fashion at this time, we hope this gift can help with some of the programs Goodman is offering for families in a difficult situation at this time. ”   - Jonathan & Janelle

There are 200 kids having a summer to remember right now at the Goodman Community Center. If you’re able to contribute, your gift could give one of these kids – kids like Navid and the young people pictured throughout this email – a chance to just be a kid. Thank you for your support and for making a difference in your community! And, as always…

* Consider yourself hugged. *
We are constantly reassessing how we can help our community.
Ironworks: 149 Waubesa Street Brassworks: 214 Waubesa Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53704
Read the Eastside News, our bi-monthy, uber-local newspaper.