USTA Serves Awards More Than $300,000 In Grants To 26 Organizations

June 28, 2010 08:42 PM
USTA Serves, the philanthropic and charitable entity of the United States Tennis Association, announced today that it has awarded 26 grants in its 2010 spring funding cycle, totaling $301,000. 

The bi-annual granting process, a national initiative of USTA Serves, was developed to provide disadvantaged, at-risk children the opportunity to learn to play tennis and improve their academic skills in a structured format, and to help combat childhood obesity by promoting healthy lifestyles. To date, USTA Serves has disbursed $10 million to a variety of programs that share those aims.

At funded program sites, children between the ages of 5-18 learn about healthy nutrition and lifestyles, responsible citizenship, study skills, and computer literacy. The grants, chosen by a Grant Proposal Review Committee comprised of Foundation board members and USTA national staff, with important input from USTA sections, are awarded to programs that successfully combine tennis and education and help children pursue their goals and highest dreams by leading healthier lives, succeeding in school and becoming healthier citizens.

"USTA Serves is excited to continue investing financial and other resources to help support organizations that believe in the powerful combination of tennis and education to help change lives. We applaud the expertise, commitment and passion for tennis and education that these organizations have shown to the children and people with disabilities whom they serve," said Deborah Slaner Larkin, Executive Director, USTA Serves. "Our goal is to support as many programs as possible and we look forward to our next grant cycle when we’ll hear from even more programs."

The following programs were awarded $15,000 and $20,000 spring grants by USTA Serves:

Greater Baltimore Tennis Patrons Association, Inc. brings the lifetime sport of tennis and its enduring life lessons to children and families throughout Greater Baltimore. The association sponsors year-round, neighborhood tennis programs for peewees, kids, adults, families, seniors and active, physically-challenged persons, and offers instructional programs, Team Tennis, competitive leagues and tournaments. The USTA Serves $20,000 grant will fund the association’s core programming for 1,350 underserved youth, providing multicultural boys and girls with exercise and fitness through tennis programs and advanced tennis training, as well as academic support, nutrition education and life-skills building exercises. Additionally, the association has created specialized programs for incarcerated girls and youth with the aptitude and desire to excel in and out of school.

National Junior Tennis & Learning of Trenton (NJTLT) is a nonprofit community organization dedicated to improving the lives of youths from broad socio-economic and cultural backgrounds with programs based on the ideals of tennis legend Arthur Ashe. It is part of the National Junior Tennis and Learning network of 520 chapters with 200,000 participants founded in 1969 by Ashe, Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder as the National Junior Tennis League. Established in 1975, NJTLT today serves approximately 2,500 young people in the greater Trenton area. The USTA Serves $20,000 grant will help the foundation support its NETS program, an after-school and summer program that provides a healthy, educational & safe environment for 100 underserved children between the ages of 10-14.

Tenacity, founded in 1999, is a Boston-based organization dedicated to helping at-risk urban youth develop skills, build character and find pathways to excellence. Combining tennis and fitness with literacy, tutoring and mentoring activities, Tenacity has served over 20,000 kids through after-school, in-school and summer programs. Tenacity is at work when at-risk kids go the extra mile in a fitness program, the extra step on the tennis court, the extra hour for a final exam or college application. Ninety-five percent of Tenacity students graduate from high school – the estimated public drop-out rate of Boston students is thirty percent. The USTA Serves $20,000 grant will help the foundation support its after school and summer tennis, literacy and wellness programs, which impact 5,000 children.

Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education, Inc.’s mission is to create opportunities for a diverse cross-section of young people--especially those from low-income families and communities--to make positive choices in their lives, succeed in school, reject violence and other risky behaviors, and grow into active, responsible and productive citizens. We work to achieve these goals through innovative tennis instruction, education, life skills, and leadership-development programming in neighborhoods throughout the Philadelphia area and at the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Center. The USTA Serves $15,000 grant will be used to support AAYTE's NJTL outdoor summer program, serving 2,000 students, ages 7-18.

The Atlanta Community Tennis Foundation promotes the physical and mental development of underserved youth through tennis and education. The foundation has seen tremendous growth since its establishment in 2003, and last year it helped more than 1,200 metro Atlanta children, overseeing tennis and afterschool programming at approximately 20 sites throughout the city. The organization provides homework assistance, computer literacy classes, mentoring, and tennis coaching, as well as healthy choice education of such subjects as diet and risky behaviors. The USTA Serves $15,000 grant will help support the Atlanta Youth Tennis Foundation’s Youth Development Afterschool Program, its Youth Development Summer Program, and its Advanced Development Program. It hopes to reach more than 2,500 children in Atlanta in 2010.

Black Women in Sport Foundation was founded in 1992 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the involvement of black women and girls in all aspects of sport, including athletics, coaching and administration. The Foundation is resolute in facilitating the involvement of women of color in every aspect of sport in the United States and around the world through the "hands-on" development and management of grass-roots level outreach programs. The USTA Serves $15,000 grant will be used to support summer and afterschool programming which serves 800 area youth, ages 5-16, focusing on physical activity as a means of promoting healthy lifestyles in combination with mentoring in the areas of health, self-esteem, career opportunities, nutrition, and more.

First Serve New Mexico, Inc., founded in 2003, grew from a fledgling site at a single school to an organization receiving recognition from the state’s early childhood leaders and New Mexico’s governor. First Serve New Mexico has helped students make strides in self-esteem, self-confidence, academics and tennis proficiency. Funds provide more students with the opportunity to pursue their goals and highest dreams by succeeding in the classroom and becoming responsible citizens. The USTA Serves $15,000 grant will be used to support tennis and tutoring after-school programming serving youth in Santa Fe, and will provide additional services to 17 students.

Katie At The Bat is dedicated to empowering Philadelphia inner-city girls to achieve their full potential through participation in athletics. The organization provides school-year programs, summer camp opportunities and promotes partnerships which use athletics as a means to bridge urban and suburban communities. Programs incorporate character development, nutrition, fitness and academic assistance while providing long-term support from coaches and volunteers to help Katie athletes make positive life choices. The USTA Serves $15,000 grant will support the expansion of the Katie Tennis Program by adding new sites and providing additional opportunities for underserved youth. Additionally, the program hopes to impact 45 inner-city kids during the year, and 40 young players during the summer.

MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation, Inc. promotes academic achievement and positive life skills in Jacksonville youth through tennis. The foundation uses tennis to engage kids in an active and fun recreation program, but also correlates success on the court with success in life to develop champions in classrooms, on tennis courts and throughout communities. The organization fosters leadership, sportsmanship, self-esteem, confidence, discipline, accountability and the value of hard work, teamwork and individual effort. The foundation recently opened the MaliVai Washington Youth Center at Emmett Reed Park, a $3 million facility. It also launched its flagship program, TnT (Tennis-n-Tutoring) in 2000, which offers free homework assistance, tennis lessons, and life skills classes to Jacksonville’s underserved youth. The USTA Serves $15,000 grant will support the K-2 Academy with the expansion of their TnT program, and hopes to include additional services to their roster, including academic assistance, tennis lessons and life skills classes.

Milwaukee Tennis and Education Foundation has served over 17,200 Milwaukee children who otherwise would lack a safe, productive, and healthy after-school and summer environment since 2002. The foundation’s high quality literacy and tennis programming not only builds academic skills and improves fitness but also emphasizes life skills development, which instills the resilience needed to succeed in school and in life. The USTA Serves $15,000 grant will help the foundation support 3,000-4,000 students with its TEAM (Tennis, Education and Mentoring) program. In addition, the foundation will use the grant to offer QuickStart Tennis in all of its 70 after-school sites.

The Tennis Opportunity Program, Inc. (TOP) offers focused and intensive support to an underserved, at-risk youth population in the Chicago area. Founded in 1989, the TOP provides opportunity for low-income Chicago-area youth to become exceptional individuals in tennis, academics, and personal development. The program supplies a year-round program that focuses on the development of the whole child rather than a set of specific sport skills and we make a sustained commitment to guide participants from program entry through college admission. The program is individualized and includes academic support, mentoring, tutoring, counseling, college seminars and visits, fitness training, and intensive tennis instruction. The USTA Serves $15,000 grant will help the program improve academic achievement, develop fundamental and competitive-level tennis skills and build healthy and positive life skills in 30-40 at-risk children.

The Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF) was founded in 1955 as an organization designed to help disadvantaged youth through tennis. Since then, it has evolved into an organization that provides academic help to at-risk children, by helping them to apply the lessons learned on the tennis court in the classroom and beyond. Today, WTEF is a leader in the best practice of providing academic enrichment, supplemented by tennis and life skills instruction, as a means for developing the skills necessary to achieve academic and personal success. The USTA Serves $15,000 grant will help the program support its mission to improve the life prospects of DC area youth by providing athletic, academic and life-skills activities that teach discipline, build self-esteem and improve academic performance which impacts approximately 1,500 children.

The following programs were awarded $5,000 to $10,000 spring grants by USTA Serves:

1. Boys & Girls Club of Greater Peoria, Peoria, Ill.
2. Capital Region Youth Tennis Foundation, Inc., Albany, N.Y.
3. Flagstaff Community NJTL, Sedona, Ariz.
4. Innercity Tennis Foundation, Minneapolis
5. Jewish Council for Youth Services, Chicago
6. King Street Center, Burlington, Vt.
7. Net Results Junior Tennis, Denver
8. NJTL of Indianapolis, Indianapolis
9. Prince Georges Tennis And Education Foundation Inc., Upper Marlboro, Md.
10. Puerto Rico Agricultural Extension Service, San Juan, P.R.
11. Richmond Recreation and Parks Foundation, Richmond, Va.
12. St. Paul Urban Tennis, St. Paul, Minn.
13. Urban Leadership Development Group, Amissville, Va.
4. Youth at Heart, Inc., Tulsa, Okla.



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