USTA SERVES AWARDS $20,000 IN GRANTS TO
TWO BAY AREA TENNIS ORGANIZATIONS
East Palo Alto Tennis & Tutoring, Youth Tennis Advantage Awarded $10,000 Each
USTA Serves, the National Charitable Foundation of the United States Tennis Association announced it has awarded East Palo Alto Tennis & Tutoring, housed at the Taube Family Tennis Center on the campus of Stanford University, and Youth Tennis Advantage in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley, each $10,000 grants. During its 2012 spring funding cycle, USTA Serves awarded 44 community tennis and education organizations more than $400,000 in grants.
The East Palo Alto Tennis Program began in 1990 and five years later the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) honored EPATT as one of the nation's top 10 inner-city tennis programs. In 1997 the program moved to its current location on the campus of Stanford University and today approximately 100 children participate in both the tennis instruction and academic tutorial.
"For nearly 25 years, through partnerships with families, schools, Stanford University, and the East Palo Alto community, EPATT has promoted leadership, discipline, hard work, and the pursuit of excellence to its K-12 students," said Dave Higaki, executive director for EPATT. "Using the unique mix of one-on-one tutoring, tennis and life skills lessons, college counseling, and parent education, EPATT strives to reach more kids and build stronger ties with the EPA community."
The grant from USTA Serves will underwrite an EPATT pilot after-school program, which will introduce over 100 elementary-aged children to tennis, while helping EPATT better assess the academic needs of its participants. The goal of the pilot is to eventually expand the program to include tutoring and parent education at some future date.
For more than 25 years, YTA has provided innovative tennis and educational programs to children in the Bay Area through comprehensive programs and expert coaching.
The USTA Serves grant funds will be used for Empowering Youth Through Play, which is an ongoing year-round program with the goal of 100% high school graduation rate for the group’s scholar athletes.
"One of the major accomplishments that we sometimes overlook is that YTA is a preventive social services program for inner city urban youth, providing a safe and supervised setting with caring and devoted staff," said Mike Skinner, Board President of Youth Tennis Advantage. "We successfully prevent drop outs; teach social and living skills, nurture teamwork and healthy relationships, help youth to avoid illegal, destructive and self-destructive behaviors. The significance of what YTA does is to transform lives of youth who are otherwise vulnerable and at-risk."
YTA takes place at three sites, including Mosswood Park in Oakland, the BearTrax program on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley, and John McLaren Park in San Francisco. More than 175 YTA youth participated at the recent Kids Day tennis celebration at Golden Gate Park, and academic and life skills staff and volunteers have been added.
Skinner added that the grant will serve more than 400 youth.
"USTA Serves is proud to continue to provide financial resources to organizations impacting the future of thousands of children throughout the nation, helping them to develop life skills through tennis and education," says Deborah Slaner Larkin, Executive Director, USTA Serves. "It is our hope and belief that these young men and women will continue to positively impact their communities and beyond."
The bi-annual grant 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. Chosen by a Grant Proposal Review Committee comprised of Foundation board members and USTA national staff, with important input from USTA sections, the grants 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. To date, USTA Serves has disbursed $11 million to a variety of programs that support its mission.