Youngsters visit Madison College in ICAN program

Andrew Kicmol, Editor in Chief

The ICAN program kicked off its first year over the summer. The program takes local youngsters from community centers around Madison and brings them to Madison College from anywhere between a half to multiple days in a row.

While here the children got to use the Goodman Sports Complex and play different sports in the soccer field or the softball field. They also get to see the inside of Truax and see some of the classes and programs offered here at the college.

Cory Sims, the men’s soccer coach and recreation director, led the program.  Bill Kegler, Goodman Sports Complex and Enterprise Manager, also helped out. On one of the days at the softball field (the soccer field was being used by one of the soccer teams at practice) the kids learned the basics of soccer, how to dribble and pass. More than learning how to play soccer the kids learn about team work, communicating to one another cognitive thinking like decision.

“Whether or not they are aware these things are happening they are learning these skills,” said Sims

Inside Truax, the kids got to spend time in the robotics lab in the Ingenuity Center. Seeing how cans are crushed and strength tested. The kids also got to see the automotive area where they learned how to change a tire. It’s that kind of hands on experience that is going to help reinforce for the experience.

“That’s when kids are most excited when they get to be engaged in something,” said Kegler.

The hope is that after their experience at the college they will start to think of Madison College and college in general as something that they want to do.

“If we can engage these kids and these young people through sport through the Goodman Sports Complex and through our facility if we can engage them to understand and know that they can go to college. That’s the purpose,” said Steve Hauser Athletic Director.

The idea for the something like the ICAN program was always in mind when the plans for the Goodman Sports Complex were being made.

“It’s not just for current Madison College Students but for the community and for future Madison College students as well,” said Sims.

The Goodman, Kennedy Heights, and East Madison community centers were a few involved in the first year of the program. Hauser said he’s certain the program will expand in the future.