Check out these stories from NJTLs across the midwest who received the Midwest Tennis and Education Foundation's COVID-19 Grant earlier this year.
People for Palmer Park
I am truly thankful for the USTA's assistance in helping us to start our program this summer and fall as well. Information from the USTA was significant to convince the City of Detroit and our People for Palmer Park Board that tennis is a safe sport to play during this time. Other CTA's coming together to share protocol and ideas on how to set up a camp were of a tremendous help. The funding we received also kept our program going. We lost some revenue because we had to shut down our indoor spring program. And since we had to buy new/different equipment, such as masks, hand sanitizer and other tennis equipment (non-touch items), this funding was greatly needed. Our coaching staff also lost income because of being unable to teach and the monies received helped them as well during these tough times. What a blessing to have this sport. If anything, that can be of benefit from this pandemic, is that it has made me love tennis even more, if that were possible and appreciate the folks who have been with us all the while. Thank you, Midwest!
Todd Martin Youth Leadership
Todd Martin Youth Leadership is providing Lunch Time Tennis and After School Tennis to 36 youth per day in partnership with Lansing Parks and Recreation and the Lansing School District at a "Learning Lab" hosted at Foster Community Center. As a Learning Lab site, Lansing Parks and Rec is hosting Lansing School District students whose parents are not able to be home with them during the day to assist with virtual schooling.
Each week, Todd Martin Youth Leadership is providing 10 hours of Lunch Time Tennis and 5 hours of After School Tennis. Todd Martin Youth Leadership is providing in-person practices in small cohorts for our Middle and Junior Team Tennis players. We have 25 youth that each get to play 3 hours/week with our Tennis Program Director. We will continue as long as the Michigan weather permits!
Todd Martin Youth Leadership currently has 18 youth attending our Virtual Friday Night Tennis program, which includes tennis/racquet skills, fitness activities (balance, agility, coordination, flexibility) and life skills. We will meet for 1 hour each Friday and will meet for 14 weeks this fall.
Todd Martin Youth Leadership has 28 youth enrolled in our Academic Tutoring program; each child receives 2 hours of 1:1 tutoring each week plus access to evidenced-based, smart online math and reading programs. Todd Martin Youth Leadership purchased 3-4 books for each participant so they have something to read while at home.
Tennis Opportunity Program
Tennis Opportunity Program (TOP) held its annual Kids Kick-Off last Saturday (Sept 19) at XS Tennis Academy with all 40 of our scholarship kids and their parents and siblings. As tennis clubs have opened back up and the sport is on the "low risk" exposure list (in Illinois), our kids are able to get back to lessons and tournaments. Our Board of Directors were on hand to meet with their respective mentee kids (and facilities), sign their contracts, and go out and play some tennis. Two of our sponsors also provided new outfits (Peachy Tan) and new tennis racquets and gear (Wilson Sporting Goods) for all of our kids. It was a beautiful day for our tennis kick-off!
AdvantageCLE Tennis & Education
I wanted to share that we were able to provide an eight-week virtual camp this summer to over 50 children, thanks to the support of the Midwest Section. We explored ways to teach tennis in this new platform and were able to have our instructors upload videos and use the Net Generation 10 and Under Curriculum that was posted on their website. We found new ways to connect with our campers and bring speakers to them- so we started weekly webinars to introduce our campers to Black professionals- such as reporters, NASA scientists, and local politicians. We also provide online opportunities such as coding camp, cartoon creation camp, and entrepreneurship camp where our campers designed their own t-shirts!
The ACE Project
Thanks to the USTA/Midwest Tennis & Education, The ACE Project was able to adapt our in-person youth program in Riverdale/Dolton; we launched a camp in Riverdale on September 14th in partnership with a local day care center and park district for 20 kids. Zion, one of the 3 boys participating, was a bit discouraged that he did not have more boys his age to pal around with and was showing signs of withdrawing. Our coaches provided Zion with opportunities to shine, though, and soon, he was helping the "Element Masters" win the multiplication races. Not only was he a great teammate, but he was also by far the fastest and most accurate with his math skills!
Love to Serve, Inc.
Thanks to the COVID funding that we received from the Section, we had an amazing summer! I have a series of videos that I would like to share with you from this summer that spotlight some of the activities our participants engaged in this summer. But first let me summarize how we utilized the funds we received:
1. Racquets and balls for 60 participants to be utilized in their homes
2. 240 Poster boards and colored markers for weekly presentations provided by participants
3. 60 pedometers to track their daily activity
4. 60 jump ropes
5. $25 emergency food and supply Covid-19 donation for each of the 60 participants households
6. Payroll assistance for coaching staff