After being closed for 4 months, the Holton Youth Center (510 E Burleigh) will reopen on December 28, thanks to a new partnership with COA Youth & Family Centers. Youth throughout the Riverwest and Harambee neighborhoods will have a safe and supportive place to go with COA providing after school and summer teen (ages 13-19) programming at the Holton Youth Center, and preteen (ages 6 – 12) programming at COA’s Riverwest Center. Programming will include homework help, college/career prep, visual and performing arts, recreation, field trips, driver education, and community service projects.
Tom Schneider, Executive Director of COA, noted that the COA Holton Center is located next to the corner of Burleigh and Holton and “there is a critical need to provide daily programming that attracts and engages area youth.” At the end of August, the Holton Center ended programming for youth, leaving a void in services for youth in the north end of Riverwest. The new collaboration between COA and Holton will again provide and expand daily youth services in this area.
Schneider stated that he hopes to engage residents as participants and as volunteers, and he stated, “With 109 years of history, families have come to trust COA’s Family Resource Centers, early child education centers, and youth programs. Our experience is that quality every day youth programming increases neighborhood safety and academic performance.”
“The Riverwest neighborhood has improved steadily since 1989 as a result of the great work done by COA and the Holton Youth & Family Center” said Mario Costantini, Board President of Holton Youth Center. “We are thrilled that these two very successful organizations will now join forces to provide desperately needed services to Riverwest and Harambee children and families.”
COA Youth & Family Centers, founded in 1906, currently serves more than 10,000 children and families at 11 locations in Milwaukee and at Camp Helen Brachman in central Wisconsin. Riverwest is home to COA, with its administrative offices on North Ave, its Riverwest center on E Garfield, and Kilbourn and Kadish Parks operated by COA overlooking the City’s skyline on North Ave.