USTA NorCal News

Harper for Kids honored with a grant from USTA Serves Foundation

December 28, 2011 09:21 AM
Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary
Yick Wo Elementary School
Claire Lilienthal Alternative School
Sunset Elementary School
McKinley Elementary School
USTA Serves Foundation has awarded a grant to Harper for Kids (HFK), which will help HFK expand its youth development program into more elementary schools in 2012. HFK's program is based upon legendary UCLA Coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success and uses his children’s book, "Inch and Miles: The Journey to Success" to introduce these life skill concepts and good sportsmanship to children through the sport of tennis in a fun, highly visual and engaging manner.
Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success consists of specific character traits (building blocks) which he believed are necessary to achieving success according to his definition: peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable. Learning and mastering these character traits will give children the solid foundation and skills they need to achieve success in their lives. Schools across the country have incorporated Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success into their character education.
The USTA has also provided valuable support to HFK by painting 36' QuickStart tennis courts and court lines in eight of the schools where HFK has its program. This has helped HFK's program have an even more meaningful presence. The schools are proud to have their very own courts in their school yards for their students to learn and play tennis during their PE and recess time.
"We can only really build around people, like Tim and Peanut, who are doing the work and providing opportunities for children that many would not have without them. This is the ideal model for us, they are making a difference in children’s lives in California and we are proud to have a small role in their work," said Virgil Christian, USTA's Director, Community Tennis Development.
In addition to the USTA's support, HFK's program has been enhanced by a unique and special partnership with the University of San Francisco's Athletic Department. "We are thrilled to partner with Harper for Kids led by Tim and Peanut Harper. The opportunity to teach the great lessons of Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success are what we are teaching our own student athletes on a daily basis," said Scott Sidwell, Director of Athletics, University of San Francisco. The USF Men's tennis team has helped HFK debut the painted tennis courts at five of the public elementary schools (in San Francisco where HFK has its program at) with exciting presentations of Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success and tennis exhibitions.
The latest event was held in early December at Robert Louis Stevenson School in San Francisco. "All 470 Robert Louis Stevenson students were excited by their introductory presentation to Coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success by Harper for Kids. The action packed tennis exhibition presented by HFK together with the University of San Francisco's tennis coach and players had our students enthusiastically cheering as our visiting athletes debuted our recently installed 36' QuickStart tennis courts, so generously funded through Harper for Kids partnership with USTA. Our school community is thrilled to know that all students in Kindergarten through grade 5 will be learning to play tennis during their regular PE class time," said Dr. V. Kanani Choy, Principal at Robert Louis Stevenson School.
The commitment to community service by USF Athletics has been key to the successful partnership between HFK and USF Athletics. "I really think community service is such an important piece to the growth of our student-athletes. It's so important for them to recognize that they are part of a bigger picture. In the world of computers and technology it's very easy to forget how powerful face to face interaction and teaching can be in a young person's life. Harper for Kids program and specifically the Pyramid of Success gives our team a wonderful formula to impart a great message to grade school children about the building blocks of success. Our team has really embraced and learned a lot about themselves and have begun to recognize how they can be positive role models in the San Francisco community," said Peter Bartlett, USF's Director of Tennis.
"We are so proud of our partnerships with USTA and USF Athletics. Their commitment and support to HFK's youth development program makes it an ideal team effort and a model of how organizations can pull their efforts together as one to make a positive difference in the lives of children," said Tim Harper, HFK Executive Director.
Harper for Kids' program is made possible thanks in large part to funding and grants from the USTA Serves Foundation.
ABOUT HARPER FOR KIDS: Harper for Kids is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and was founded in 2008 by Tim Harper and Peanut Louie Harper. The mission of Harper for Kids is to teach children the important life skills that will empower them to achieve their personal best in life. Our vision is that HFK's youth development program, which is based upon legendary UCLA Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success, will help children develop good character. HFK also hopes to inspire the adults in the children's lives to be good role models of important core, ethical values and help foster a healthy community. For more information about Harper for Kids, visit: To view more photos, please visit Harper for Kids Facebook page.



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