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'Aces for Kids' Grants Go To Three In South

February 8, 2010 10:14 AM
USTA Serves – Foundation for Academics.  Character.  Excellence., the philanthropic and charitable entity of the USTA, announced that under its “Aces for Kids” umbrella, it has awarded 24 year-end grants, three of which are in USTA Southern. The number of program grants awarded in 2009 was 37, for a total amount of $549,325. Combined with scholarship awards, USTA Serves distributed nearly $1 million in 2009.

USTA Serves awards grants to programs that successfully combine tennis and education and help children pursue their goals and highest dreams by succeeding in school and becoming responsible citizens.

“These programs are impacting the future of thousands of children, helping them to develop a healthy mentality and vital life skills that they will carry into adulthood,” said Karen Martin-Eliezer, Chief Executive, USTA Serves. “We are grateful for the generous support of the many corporations and individual donors that empower USTA Serves to distribute these life-changing funds.”

Aces for Kids is a national initiative of USTA Serves. It strives to promote healthy lifestyles by combating childhood/adult obesity by providing disadvantaged, at-risk children the opportunity to learn to play tennis and improve their academic skills in a structured format.  At Aces for Kids program sites, children between the ages of 5-18 learn about healthy nutrition and lifestyles, responsible citizenship, study skills, and computer literacy; interact with a mentor and other students; attend college preparatory sessions; and learn to play tennis in a team format.

Tennis in the ‘Hood Inc., in Fayetteville, Ga., $15,000 grant
The mission of Tennis in the ‘Hood (TITH) is to bring quality tennis and educational support programs to children in the South Metro Atlanta area -- for free or at very low cost.  To date, they have reached more than 3,000 children. The goal is to help kids build healthy bodies and minds and to instill the desire to learn and achieve through tennis instruction and creative learning programs. The USTA Serves grant will fund TITH’s after-school program, which utilizes tennis as the ‘hook’ to attract 40-60 local youth.  The curriculum consists of four components: in-direct instruction (enrichment activities); direct instruction (tutoring and/or teacher led activities); tennis and physical fitness activities; and prevention/intervention workshops.

Indianola Main Street Association in Indianola, Miss., $10,325 grant
Indianola Main Street Association is partnering with the Indianola Tennis Association, the Indianola Parks & Recreation Department, Henry M. Seymour Library, the BB King/AT&T Learning Center, Mississippi State University Extension Service, and the Sunflower Country Freedom Project to offer an afterschool program including tennis, tutoring and health education, to approximately 100 students.

A’s & Aces in New Orleans, La., $6,000 grant
A’s & Aces is a non-profit organization which provides academic assistance, life skills, and tennis instruction to New Orleans public school children. The name A's & Aces was chosen to demonstrate a commitment to excellence, both in the classroom and on the tennis court. The mission of the organization is to increase scholastic performance by providing academic support and tutoring; teach tennis and dedication to a disciplined practice schedule; and provide life skills and the opportunity for local youth to pursue tennis as a life-long healthy and social activity. The USTA Serves grant will fund the A’s & Aces Hynes Charter School First Serve Project which provides 24 children, grades 3-4, with four hours weekly of QuickStart Tennis, academic assistance and First Serve life skills mentoring on the school campus.





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