To Promote and Help Provide a Nurturing Community for Kids
The Spencer Kids Group was organized in order to provide youth in the Spencer area a safe place to gather and socialize with other youth in a positive manner for themselves, as well as, their peers, families and the community.
SKG believes that all kids have the ability and desire to succeed academically and socially if given the proper environment and example. SKG is dedicated to building the foundations for the success of local youth by developing programs that work to build social skills, academic confidence and community pride.
SKG believes that the interaction of the community of Spencer, its youth and families is important to the overall development of the community’s children. As part of that belief, SKG will work to develop programs and events that are designed to bring the community together as a family.
SKG Organizational Values
- SKG believes that every child has the ability and desire to achieve.
- SKG strives for youth to be given the opportunity to succeed and be productive leaders in the community.
- SKG desires to create and encourage a positive, active and healthy lifestyle for the community’s youth.
- SKG will work to help youth develop a respect for the community and a sense of personal responsibility.
- SKG will encourage wholesome, positive community family activities.
- SKG values educational success for the youth of the Spencer community at all scholastic levels.
History of Spencer Kids Group
In August 1995, the Spencer community was experiencing a growing number of youth becoming involved in criminal and delinquent behavior. Gang graffiti, gang dress and signs, harassment, fights and theft were on the rise. Looking for ways to stem this concern Spencer Police Chief Bill Hoes approached Wayne and Pauline Frome and asked if they would spearhead a community group in figuring out a way to help keep the teenage boys in town busy with fun activities. A group of six individuals began regular meetings to explore ideas of activities that might interest the boys.
During this time the school also began to see gang related activities on buses and school grounds. Parents, teachers and law enforcement were very concerned. School administration arranged a meeting between Marathon County experts in at-risk youth behavior and representatives from Spencer, including the newly formed group. That local group continued to meet to discuss how the community could be involved in solving the problem. In March 1996 this group participated in an open forum for the entire community. At this meeting, law enforcement personnel from Marathon County, City of Marshfield, City of Wausau and Village of Spencer spoke about gangs and indications that a child may be involved in gang activity. At this meeting, Pauline Frome told the crowd about the group that was working to get alternative activities started for the teenagers and asked for more volunteers. Key people with lots of enthusiasm and ideas come forward and Spencer Kids Group (SKG) was formed. They started using the municipal hall for Friday night movies and activities for high school students. In the beginning, kids just hung out under the supervision of adult volunteers.
In 1997 the Spencer government offices moved into a new municipal building. The village leaders had intended to sell or tear down the old building leaving the SKG in jeopardy. After much negotiation, the old municipal building was leased to SKG in hopes of expanding services to the Spencer youth. In January 1998, a remodeling project made the building more appealing and usable for youth activities. Also in 1998, SKG received its first United Way of Marathon County grant and in 2000 was awarded its first Federal Grant. With these grants, Pauline Frome was hired as Spencer Kids Group Program Coordinator/Agency Director and the center was open to service the community youth every day after school and late Friday evening. When the school district eliminated the summer recreation program in 2001, SKG stepped up and took over the program. Over the next few years, with a continued growth in the number of youth needing and using SKG, more staff was added. In 2004, SKG received its first Marshfield Area United Way grant. By having a facility for kids to hang out and the supervision and attention of a diverse group of adults, the original problem of gang activities has gone away. The demographic of kids using the services of SKG has expanded to include not just at risk teenage boys, but a mix of co-ed grade school, middle school and high school kids.
Since 2006, the organization has continued to expand its effort to be a positive influence on the youth by adding activities for families. Part of this effort is seen in the large crowds that attend the outdoor movies offered during the summer. Starting with the 2007 school year, SKG began an after-school homework program two nights a week for kids in 3rd through 6th grade and in 2011, due to increasing demand the program, added 2nd grade and expanded to four nights a week. The homework program is seen as one of the most important services provided outside of the activities at the SKG center. Generous contributions in 2010 and 2011 saw the addition of a handicap accessible bathroom and learning center with study space and computers.
Thanks to an enthusiastic and energetic Board of Directors and staff, combined with the generosity of our friends and benefactors we expect to continue having a positive impact in the lives of Spencer’s youth for years to come.
Mentor/Tutor for After School Homework Program
3:15 to 4:00pm at Spencer Public Schools, Monday through Thursday beginning in October. No special skills required, just an interest in helping a child succeed. Older students, parents, grandparents, retired folks, active teachers are welcomed. Application forms are available at the Elementary Office.