Alternatives to Violence

Cutting Edge Program

For the past 25 years the East Madison Community Center has been offering a program that is unique and effective in reducing violence among children and youth. The unique feature of our Alternatives to Violence (ATV) program is that it teaches youth about anger management before they get in trouble due to their inability to release their anger in nonviolent ways. The program meets every Saturday morning from 9 – 11 a.m. and is integrated into the summer camp curriculum. The program is open to youth ages 7-17 and incorporates age-specific curriculum.

Alternatives to Violence is run by Nate Savodo, who is a social worker, and John Harmelink, who is a special education teacher in the Madison Metropolitan School District. The program serves over 150 youth from the east side of Madison. Surveys and outcome data are used to determine the effectiveness of the program and the results have been astonishing. Over 92% of the youth attending ATV have reported an increased in their anger management skills when confronted by stressful situations that persist in their lives. Giving children the tools to make better choices in life is part of the mission of the East Madison Community Center. ATV is one of many holistic youth programs the EMCC provides to assist students in becoming successful adults.