Pops program breaks down mental illness stigma and promotes job experience

For a six-month season, Chrysalis Pops employees sell popsicles out of the Icicle Tricycle—a tricycle cooler—at local farmer’s markets and community events alongside the program’s slogan: “Pops with a purpose.”
Chrysalis Pops is a project from Chrysalis, Inc., a nonprofit organization that supports employment for individuals dealing with mental health struggles. Chrysalis Pops takes the organization’s mission one step further by actually offering employment opportunities, providing competitive wages and teaching employees crucial career skills. At the core of the Chrysalis Pops program is its mission to weaken the stigma around mental illness. Pops is a vehicle for integrating individuals with mental illnesses into the community’s workforce, lessening the stigma by putting a face to mental health struggles.  The “Pops with a purpose” slogan often prompts a conversation, Chrysalis Executive Director Dani Rischall said.

Media Digest, September 26th 2017


The Girls and Boys Club of Dance County and Fitchburg’s mayor are at odds after the city budget cut funding for nonprofits. The CEO of Dane County’s Boys and Girls Club criticized the proposed Fitchburg budget at a meeting. Education

School leaders from across the state gathered Friday in Madison to talk about the recently signed state budget will mean for school districts, particularly low-spending districts that had a spending increase vetoed. City police ended a program that brought safety education into Madison school district classrooms. MATC lets high school students feel the heat of being a firefighter in a new academy program. Development

Renovations will continue at Sector67 nonprofit space after the owner was hurt in a workplace explosion. Downtown condo owners are worried about being left in the shadows after a jail expansion. Madison leaders are talking about selling the city-owned Monona Golf Course for development.

After Oscars

Losing the Oscar Mayer plant in Madison reflected the general trend of declining manufacturing jobs. But being part of a national trend doesn’t change the reality for the company’s employees and the city. Madison Commons is proud to introduce After Oscars, an in-depth multimedia project examining the local impact of the plant’s closure, produced by Melissa Behling. The centerpiece of the project is a 20-minute documentary that explores the history of the plant and the meaning of its closure as told by several long-term employees. While the plant continually saw productivity gains, some employees still felt the writing on the wall.

The Bus Stops Here: Reconstruction Blues

Even the best built roads have a lifetime, and many of Madison’s older streets have either been, or will soon be, reconstructed or resurfaced. The price tag? Millions of dollars, and not having that money to spend on such “quality of life” items as golf courses, skating rinks, playground equipment, sidewalks, extended library hours and more. Wide roads in particular are expensive and built as part of what Charles Marohn calls a “Ponzi Scheme;“ a short term illusion of wealth in exchange for enormous long term liabilities. Those roads are old enough now that we are beginning to finally see some of those “long term liabilities” while newer growth is still in the earlier “illusion” stage.

SSFP: New Festival Foods Building Employs Revolutionary Construction Materials

This story originally appeared in the Simpsons Street Free Press. It was written by Amanda Welch, an incoming eighth grade student at Sennett Middle School. Amanda has been with Simpson Street Free Press since elementary school with one of our other publications--Glendale Free Press. She has continued on her writing by joining Sennett Free Press. Besides having an interest in reading and writing, Amanda enjoys practicing the violin.

Media Digest September 12th 2017

Top story

President Donald Trump’s decision to end protections for immigrants who came as children will have a local impact. Laura Patricia Minero, a Ph.D. candidate at UW-Madison is enrolled in the DACA program and fears what’s next. Education

At UW-Madison, a proposal is developing that would give first-generation college students who transfer from another UW-System School free tuition. Sonja Hungness, a math teacher in the Middleton-Cross Plains school district, is a finalist from Wisconsin for a national teaching award. She will learn if she was selected for the national award in the coming months. Meanwhile, Madison public schools are selectively shutting down Wi-Fi in a pilot program to limit distractions. Development

This week the Wisconsin State Journal explored in a six-part series the looming worker crisis in the state.

Hosting Ducks, the Madison Mallards Host Family Program

“Do you want to host a couple of ducks?”

It’s an odd question Diane Endres encountered about 12 years ago while delivering mail to a woman’s home. “I looked at her and I said: A couple of ducks? What are you talking about? She said the Madison Mallards, and she showed me a poster of the team,” Diane said. After sharing the question with her husband Chuck, the Endres’ said yes.

Helping young readers one book at a time

In one year, 25,000 books are collected. This is an intimidating but attainable number, at least according to the folks at Madison Reading Project, a literacy-based nonprofit organization that provides books to children in-need in South Central Wisconsin. In 2016 MRP gave out over 10,000 books to local kids. This year they hope to double that number. The goal is 25,000.

Madison agency to host celebratory pop up dinner and art exhibition

Centro Hispano of Dane County and VEA Events will host “An Evening of Dreaming” in September, a dinner series meant to celebrate the Madison Latinx community. The event, which will be hosted at Centro Hispano of Dane County’s building on Madison’s southside, will be the last event in the organization’s current space, according to a statement from the agency. Following the dinner series, Centro Hispano of Dane County’s building will be undergoing a renovation. The renovation is apart of Design for a Difference, a national campaign focused on helping nonprofit organizations complete design makeovers. Centro Hispano of Dane County was founded in 1983 to meet the emergent needs of Cuban refugees recently settled in Madison, according to their website.

Media Digest, September 5th 2017


Madison public schools are changing the process for independent schools to be declared charter schools. Windsor Elementary looks different after renovations. UW-Madison will open a new research institute dedicated to Big Data. Development

A hotel and grocery store are under consideration for development of the downtown MATC site. Community

Madison cover band Hometown Sweethearts is playing several shows this week to wrap-up a 15-year stint.