Positive Options Program (P.O.P.): 30 years and going strong!

For the past 30 years the East Madison Community Center has been providing this prevention program on Fridays nights. It runs from 5 – 9 p.m. and includes a healthy meal, one hour of age-specific materials covering the weekly subject, and 3 hours of wellness activities such as swimming, basketball, gyms games, etc. P.O.P is incorporated once a week during each of the four week summer camps.

P.O.P. started out as mainly a anti -drug program in the early 90’s but has evolved into a multi-faceted program that covers subject areas such as social skills, self-esteem, bullying, dating safety, study skills, anger management skills, and even such things as mindfulness and meditation. P.O.P uses different ways to ensure that the subject matter is being absorbed by the youth. We use a variety of learning tools such as videos, discussions, role playing, computer software worksheets and speakers.

The lessons are sometimes taught by P.O.P participants who are in high school. This empowers area youth and gives them valuable experience in developing lesson plans and managing groups of youth.

The P.O.P served over 300 unduplicated youth this past year and averages over 40 youth each Friday night. When many children’s programs end by 5:30 or 6:00 pm on Friday nights, P.O.P allows youth the chance to participate in safe well-staffed educational and recreational activities that lasts until 9:00 pm on Friday nights.  P.O.P. is one of our most popular programs at EMCC and has had a huge impact in empowering youth to make positive choices in life.