Ken-Rock Community Center
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Who We Are

Mission Statement

Ken Rock provides recreation, education and social service opportunities for our citizens that continue to make the city of Rockford great.
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Our History

The Ken-Rock Community Center began as a Junior League project almost 90 years ago. In the early 1930's the Junior League took on their first project ever by joining the two neighborhoods of Rock River School and Morris Kennedy School together to participate in recreation, community activities and civic clubs. Hence the name Ken-Rock Community Center was formed. Today in 2019, we're still here strong as ever adapting to the change in times community needs and developing new exciting activities and programs for it's families. Come join us, "There's a Neighborhood Inside".
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Our fingerprints on the lives we touch never fade

Be The Change

What people say

“There were three guiding factors in my youth that helped me become the man I am today, my family, the boy scouts and the Ken-Rock Community Center. I began playing softball at Ken-Rock when I was eight years old and learned the values of teamwork and friendship. I still maintain friendships today with those who competed with and against me when I was eight, many of whom are now community leaders, firemen, policemen, accountants, etc. They too owe much of who they are to Ken-Rock and the mountain of volunteers who helped guide them through their youth. The underlying theme is that the Rockford-area today, benefits from yesterday’s Ken-Rock program and the Rockford of tomorrow will benefit from the youth and volunteers who are a part of Ken-Rock today. I was fortunate enough to return to Ken-Rock as an adult to help coach youth in basketball and softball. I’ve seen many of those boys and girls grow to be outstanding adults and leaders. Having, myself, grown up in a less-fortunate part of town and watching many of my neighborhood friends take less productive paths I can only credit Ken-Rock and those volunteers and leaders in helping me stay on a positive trail. Thank you John and Ken-Rock for all that you do for the community. I wish you the best and look forward to watching you accept this year’s award!” Bob Kinnison  
“I can say that Ken-Rock Community Center has played a major role in my life. I can say that my life would not be what it is today without Ken-Rock Community Center.” Terry Dodge
“I grew up at Ken Rock Community Center playing in their sports programs year-around. Ken Rock was a family affair with my father coaching three sports, my sister involved in sports and my mother supporting it all. I was lucky enough to have a lot of support at home but what has really lasted with me over the years is the impact that sports and Ken Rock had on friends that did not have that same family support. Ken Rock and their programs were really a lifeline to many kids that decided playing sports was better than getting in trouble. The volunteers and staff of Ken Rock provided positive role models for young kids and I will be forever grateful that Ken Rock Community Center was a big part of my youth.”   Jeff Blum
“I started out with Ken Rock when I was in third grade; it was my first involvement into sports. I did not even know how to bat correctly. I knew I could run fast and I knew that I did not like to lose. I started playing softball which led into football which led into basketball. I have so many stories that I could tell about each of the sports. Like hitting 3 or four home runs in one game, running for 4 touchdowns in one game in flag football and being a starting guard for many years in basketball. But for me being black and coming from a single household all the stars lined up for me to be another statistic ending up in jail or prison. I had all the ingredients for this perfect storm to take place. Looking back this was probably the most pivotal part of my life. Ken-Rock keep me busy so I wasn't running the streets like my other peers were not as fortunate. It gave me a father figure through my coaches that I did not have. It gave me discipline which I would have never received. It taught me teamwork and respect for my fellow man which some people never learn. And mostly it taught me how to handle loss and learn from my mistakes and recover. Ken-Rock was the reason I played sports in high school and my senior year was named athlete of the year for the entire conference. This led to a scholarship to Indiana University where my senior year I was named one of the captains of the team. I believe the things I was taught from the Ken-Rock Community Center made this an easy transition for it to happen. I then was drafted in the third round to the Cincinnati Bengals, and went on to sign with the Cowboys and the Oilers. There is so much more to tell but all of this was made possible because of Ken-Rock Community Center giving a small little black kid a chance, keeping him off the streets and showing him that someone cares. My son plays football for the University of Texas El Paso, so it will continue because of Ken-Rock.” Leonard Bell  
“Growing up participating in athletics at Ken-Rock gave me a strong foundation that helped develop my self-confidence and positive attitude, and taught me valuable lessons about how to work with others towards goals, win with class, and lose with dignity. Through Ken-Rock, I developed life-long friendships and bonded with my father. Now, twenty years later, my friends and family cherish the memories of our family experiences through Ken-Rock athletics. I had wonderful coaches who volunteered their time, not merely to win, but much more importantly, to develop boys socially, emotionally, and physically into young men with character. I will always think back to my childhood at Ken-Rock with fondness and know that everything Ken-Rock had done for me, it has done for thousands of other boys and girls for generations.” Chad Anderson