Tennis ACES (After-School Community Enrichment Strategy) Program 2017
Our largest program, ACES, is a low cost summer youth tennis program presented in partnership with Franklin & Marshall College (F&M) for children ages 6 to 18.
Tennis Central has adopted the Academic Creative Engagement (ACE) Curriculum created by National Junior Tennis and Learning of Trenton, New Jersey. ACE utilizes the sport of tennis to promote academic achievement, health/wellness, and social/emotional skills development. In combination with tennis programs, children learn teamwork, problem-solving, and decision-making. ACE was designed with the principles of Arthur Ashe in mind to provide children with a healthy educational environment and encourage a positive academic experience. The program focuses on key areas including think and play, or TAP, literacy, math and nutrition, all of which incorporate direct connections to tennis. Lessons are designed to engage children in meaningful and fun activities that translate into both tennis and non-tennis settings.
About the Academic Creative Engagement Curriculum
Academic Creative Engagement (ACE) is our out-of-school academic curriculum connected to 21stCentury Skills, National and Core State Standards and the sport of tennis. It is designed to encourage academic achievement, health/wellness and social/emotional skills by guiding children through educational processes that include decision making, problem solving and working together toward common goals. When combined with a tennis program, it provides important developmental assets and reflects the ideals and principles of Arthur Ashe by giving children access to a safe, healthy and educational opportunity. It can easily operate in partnership with schools, community centers, governmental programs, universities and other after-school providers. The lessons support classroom instruction and encourage students to communicate. Schools are mandated in preparing children for specific school and state assessments; whereas an out-of-school program provides the chance to talk about learning –the importance of thinking, discussing math concepts, writing clearly and speaking well. The activities contained in ACE provide a platform from which this goal can be reached.
The ACE curriculum consists of 50 activities to motivate and prepare students for success both in school and on court. It includes additional activities to stimulate thinking and writing for the Arthur Ashe Essay Contest. The curriculum is designed for grades 3 through 5; however, it can easily be differentiated to engage additional ages and grade levels. The lessons are created to be supportive, engaging and experiential in nature. They are guided by academic standards developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and support the Core Curriculum State Standards.
Cooperative learning is encouraged to help children think about what they can do to build a respectful, emotional climate on and off the court. Hands-on projects give children the opportunity to interpret their ideas and demonstrate their knowledge.
How it Works
F&M provides the use of their tennis courts for six weeks each summer. Over 500 young players participate each day during the 3 two week sessions for instruction and competition.
The juniors learn a stroke of the day, followed up with drills & games to reinforce the play, with instruction being done by college players, F&M Tennis Team, and USPTA/PTR professionals. Local high school players assist with drilling and serve as hitting partners for qualified participants. Many players also compete in match play as well. Our main goal is to give youngsters the opportunity to develop their tennis skills, while making new friends, so they may continue to enjoy the sport for a lifetime.
Additional events under this program are available thanks to the financial assistance from the community. For example in 2009, a trip to the US Open for Arthur Ashe Kid’s Day was offered to 50 children from the ACES program.
LTPA gives out the Terry Robb Sportsmanship Award every two weeks in our 6 week ACES program.
This award was established in honor of a man of honesty, who had respect for others, knew how to lead others, was sincere and fair in dealing with both youth and adults. As a high school coach at Penn Manor High School from the mid-1970’s into the late 1980’s, he coached several female players that won the Lancaster-Lebanon League Championship and/or qualified for the PIAA State Championships. Later, he captained several USTA League teams that qualified to play at the National level.
Terry was a tennis addict who freely gave of his time to introduce children to the game of tennis. He often arrived at the tennis courts with a friend’s child or perhaps a neighbors’ child. Terry donated some of his time to children’s clinics sponsored by LTPA. He often said,” this is my pay back for all the enjoyment tennis has given for these many years.”
In selecting the winners for Terry Robb Sportsmanship Award, we look for some of the following qualities: demonstrates integrity, willing to help others, follows directions, shows fair play, works well with others, is sincere, shows respect for others, is trustworthy, and honest. These are all qualities that Terry Robb possessed.
For more information about the ACES Program Information, and to register, please check the Franklin & Marshall Diplomats College Athletics website