CITY OF MADISON, WI
Mayor Susan Bauman

THE SAFE HAVEN PROGRAM

In 1994, the City of Madison developed, through its office of Community Services, a program designed to provide elementary school-age students with after school and summer educational and recreational activities. The program is an attempt to meet the needs of this critical youth population by providing alternatives during the post-school hours and summer months when parental supervision is at its lowest level and the incidence of violence, vandalism and other youth-oriented problems is at its highest. The program is also a vehicle for providing traditional mentoring and child care-type services.

The program has been implemented in three communities within the city - Broadway-Simpson, Vera Court and Worthington Park - and involves approximately 160 children each day. The three schools provide two hours of after school activities and a full eight hours of such activities during the summer. The annual cost of the project is approximately $200,000.

The Safe Haven Program has been a great success according to both anecdotal and documented research. A recent research and evaluation study conducted by professors from the University of Wisconsin on Madison demonstrated the following:

  • The program was effective at targeting children who were at high risk of academic and social difficulties.
  • The program content/activities were of good quality, providing developmentally appropriate care that in some areas approached excellence.
  • Children who participated in the program improved their ability to choose non-violent conflict resolution strategies.
  • Children who participated in the program lowered their rates of absenteeism at school.
  • Children who participated in the program improved their work habits at school. As reported by their teachers.

Contact person:

Dorothy Conniff

Director

Office of Community Relations

(608) 266-6520

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