Enriching The Lives of Children
FREE Afterschool Program
Fun and educational program for kids in grades K-8. Reinforces classroom curriculum and provides recreational activities and healthy dinner. Tutoring and help with homework provided by college students from Lewis University, University of St. Francis and Joliet Junior College.
"I was an intern at Warren-Sharpe while I was attending JJC. I learned so much there! I tutored the kids in After-School program. Now I am going on to get my Master’s in Psychology." – Liz Sakanis, JJC graduate
Summer Day Camp
Six weeks of Summer fun for children in grades 1 - 9. Includes sports, drama, science club, games, field trips, gardening and educational enrichment. Fees assessed on a sliding scale, with no family ever paying more than $40/week.
Police and Children Together – One week of summer fun, mentoring and field trips for boys aged 7 – 12, in partnership with Forest Park Community Center and the Joliet Community Police Team.
"At first, my grandson was afraid of the police. He had seen his father get arrested, and he sees all this bad stuff on TV. But after PACT camp, he told me he wanted to be a police officer when he grows up. He said he wants to help people, because that’s what the police do." – PACT parent, 2016
Monthly meetings focusing on a wide range of parenting and family issues, including: Age-Appropriate Discipline; Healthy Eating on a Budget; Family Reading Time; Age-Appropriate TV, Video Games and Music; Creative Parenting; and many others.
Providing opportunities for high school students to complete their community service requirement.
Providing opportunities for juveniles and adults in the justice system to complete their court-ordered service hours; obtain assistance with education and counseling; participate in mentoring and support groups; and learn to make healthier life choices.
Leaders of Tomorrow
Mentoring and leadership development for boys in grades 5-9, focusing on effective communication, self-respect, anger management, impulse control, healthy relationships.
Mentoring and leadership development for girls in grades 5-9, focusing on effective communication, self-respect, healthy boundaries, healthy body image, impulse control, healthy relationships.
Kids in the Kitchen
These kids plant the veggies, harvest the veggies and cook the veggies! Classes run during After-School Program and Summer Day Camp.
"Have you ever had cilantro? It smells so good! My mama says to stop putting cilantro on everything but I love it!" – Mariah Bew, age 11
Canned goods, fresh produce, dairy products and meat provided to families on Tuesdays 10:30am - 2:00pm.
"If it weren’t for the food pantry, I don’t know how we’d make it to the end of the month. – Pantry Volunteer Beverly Hill, grandmother of three.
Toys, gifts and food baskets distributed to families in program and neighborhood households.
"I adopt a family for Christmas every year, and every year I call Warren-Sharpe to find a family. The director sends me pictures of the kids and parents, and tells me their story, and gives me suggestions on what they need. I feel like I’m really making a difference in people’s lives, more than just writing an anonymous check. I have been so blessed in my life. It feels good to share. – Maribel Mitchell, donor
Green Sprout Urban Farm – A social enterprise of Warren-Sharpe Center, this youth-run urban farm seeks to go beyond providing emergency food in the food pantry, and work toward food security. All kids in all programs participate in farming activities.
What makes us different . . .
Families – at all economic levels – are struggling to protect their children from witnessing violence, from drug exposure and gun culture, and from unhealthy choices. All parents want to keep their children safe, and keep their dreams alive. Imagine how much more difficult it is for a family living on the minimum wage or battling a chronic health problem. And at first glance, it’s easy to see what’s wrong with our neighborhood. Drugs, violence, unemployment. But take a closer look. And you’ll see what’s right with our neighborhood.
You’ll see the grandmother who started an overnight day care for the moms who work the late shift. You’ll see the teenagers carrying groceries for the seniors at food pantry. You’ll see all the kids on bikes pull over for the woman in the wheelchair. You’ll see a blind man with a beautiful backyard garden giving advice to kids in the Green Sprout Urban Farm. You’ll see the mail carrier who goes to 3 different houses looking for a resident, because his medicine was in the mail, and she wants to make sure he gets it. You’ll see the moms and dads and aunts and uncles who take turns waiting at the bus stop, so the kids are never alone or unprotected.
You’ll see the churches and food pantries and soup kitchens coordinate their hours of operation, so there is always a place for a family to have a meal.
You’ll see why, in 25 years, Warren-Sharpe Community Center has never been burglarized or vandalized with graffiti.
At Warren-Sharpe, programs are designed to cultivate creativity, love of learning, responsibility, healthy choices and ownership of our neighborhood. Because the things that are wrong in our community can be cured by the things that are right in our community.
All Center programs are open to any child/youth/family in Will County, although enrollment preference is given to families living on the south side of Joliet. Scholarships are available for Summer Day Camp; all other programs are free to participants.