SAN FRANCISCO, CA –A unique San Francisco after-school program that promotes success in both academics and tennis has been chosen by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Northern California to receive their 2022 Awards Celebrating Excellence in Service for National Junior Tennis and Learning Chapter of the Year.
The Tennis and Learning Center program, also known as TLC, is overseen by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and provides programming to youth from San Francisco’s most in-need communities, focusing on academic achievement, as well as health and wellness through tennis.
The program was created in response to the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and Families’ 2011 Community Needs Assessment report, which determined a need for support outside of school for elementary and middle school youth. Rec and Park’s Tennis and Learning Center developed its program to specifically serve the communities with the greatest demand for academic, health, and social opportunities for youth.
“The TLC program nurtures kids on the court and in the classroom. It’s wonderful to see children who have never played tennis before sharpen their skills and fall in love with the game, while benefitting from one-on-one tutoring and mentorship,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg.
Since its inception in 2014, the program has expanded to six sites, and currently serves a total of 112 students in neighborhoods like Western Addition, Chinatown, Bayview-Hunters Point, and the Excelsior. Each year, the program has consistently been able to maintain full enrollment at each partner elementary school and middle school, while also keeping the programming diverse and helping introduce tennis to students who have never played before.
The USTA Northern California’s Awards Celebrating Excellence in Service (ACES) National Junior Tennis and Learning Chapter of the Year award is a prestigious acknowledgement, honoring programs that do outstanding work in tennis and youth development, demonstrating community leadership and excellence.
“Here at TLC, every child is welcome with an opportunity to learn through the sport of tennis while cultivating a place to grow, thrive, and most importantly, have fun!” said TLC SF Citywide Program Coordinator Channing Hale. “Winning this award only further proves the hard work and ethic we do behind the scenes to bridge the gap between community and recreation.”
“USTA Norcal is dedicated to promoting and growing the game of tennis across all levels of the Northern California community and organizations like San Francisco Tennis and Learning Center are a vital part of its mission,” said USTA Norcal Executive Director Summer Verhoeven. “This award is a testament to the great work being done by the TLC to expose youth to tennis, a sport they typically might never have access to, and to promote their personal development both on and off the court.”
The USTA Northern California ACES banquet took place on Sunday, Feb. 12 at the Pleasant Hill Senior Center Chateau Hall.
More information about the TLC program can be found here.