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Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation grant helps MSCR provide elementary education services during the pandemic

The PGA TOUR Champions American Family Insurance Championship is BACK in 2021! We’re proud the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation continued to have a charitable impact in 2020 despite the cancellation of the event, by making direct donations to primarily local non-profits, including those providing COVID-19 relief. As we lead up to the 2021 event, we’re highlighting more of the organizations who benefited and were able to continue their important work in our communities.

Many essential workers with children in Madison, Wisconsin had nowhere to send them while working during the pandemic. The challenges of finding reliable childcare and help with virtual learning for their children was a troubling concern for these parents in the Madison School District. Fortunately, Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR) was there to help.

MSCR has been a community provider of elementary and recreation programs since 1926. Their mission is to enhance the quality of life for individuals in the Madison Metropolitan School District and the community by providing recreation and enrichment opportunities year-round and accessible to all. Their programs and services meet the needs of a diverse community.

MSCR afterschool programs generally serve Title One schools, meaning schools with the highest percentages of low-income students. The needs of those using the programs include care, academic enrichment and safe spaces for virtual learning. MSCR focuses on meeting these needs, and did so especially during the pandemic.

Eileen Otis, elementary program supervisor for MSCR, supervises the organization’s elementary school-based programming. During the school year, MSCR operates approximately 15 after-school programs and 16 to 20 camps during the summer.

The pandemic forced MSCR to open 17 locations of full-day programming while the school district was fully virtual. They also offered virtual learning support and childcare. This required providing personal protection equipment to children and staff members.

“We needed to buy masks with see-through frames and face shields, so kids who read lips could still communicate with the staff and with their peers to feel comfortable,” said Otis, “We were also able to buy classroom kits which allowed the kids to participate with each other – which is important to them – but safely at their own stations.. We still need them to play, learn, try things and interact with peers, even within the new guidelines.”

During the pandemic, MSCR received community support, federal funds and a grant from the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation that allowed them to continue running their programs in a safe manner. The grant was used specifically for educational supplies, personal protection equipment and winter clothing for the children.

“American Family Insurance stepped up in a lot of ways, both for MSCR and for the Madison community,” said Otis. “I think it’s been impressive and something we appreciate very much. We hope our relationship with American Family continues, because it has been a positive experience.”

The Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation grant and other support has meant MSCR can continue to deliver the programs and services that meet the needs of so many in the community.

Learn more

Learn more about MSCR and the positive impact they’re having in providing learning support, childcare and recreation programs in the Madison area. Visit their website for more information.

In its first five years (including funds distributed despite the cancellation of the 2020 event due to COVID-19), the American Family Insurance Championship has provided proceeds of $10.2 million via contributions to the American Family Children’s Hospital and grants to more than 400 charitable organizations through the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation.