The March Racket

Some programs might be suspended, but we are HERE for YOU!

NYJTL would like to proudly announce that 136 NYJTL heroes have voluntarily stepped up to staff the Department of Education’s crucial Regional Enrichment Centers (REC) during the coronavirus emergency.

REC programming began at 70 sites on Monday, March 23, and includes four NYJTL ACES locations: Hyde Leadership Middle and Elementary Schools, P.S. 42, and P.S. 12. Our NYJTL staff are voluntarily working in 35 REC locations.

These NYJTL heroes will:

  • Work with respective school principals and leadership to determine how to best support distance learning.
  • reate individualized school plans, including assisting in the implementation of both academic and social and emotional learning (SEL) based curriculum.
  • upport technological classroom set up: dogu, Google classroom, and take-home classwork packaging and distribution.
  • Distribute laptops and provide necessary supplies for children to effectively learn online.
  • Supervise attendance, program administration, and general operations.
  • Communicate with parents in languages other than English where needed.
  • Provide crisis management and hands-on intervention.
  • Assist kitchen staff with meal preparation and family pickup coordination.
  • Develop daily communication with school, parents, and participants.

We have also provided a library of digital resources and activities to keep families healthy and learning after regular school hours.  Check out a week’s worth of activities.

The Department of Education has provided additional materials to help keep students engaged beyond their online lessons. These resources are for students in all grades, from elementary to high school. Click here to check out these materials!

With so many kids home from school, GoNoodle: Good Energy at Home, is providing ways for families to move and learn together while staying active, focused, and calm! Click here to learn more!

Prodigy Math Games is delivering a unique learning experience for kids through an interactive math game where success depends on correctly answering skill-building math questions. Click here to play!

This comic book is an easy, and kid friendly way, to explain to your kids what the Coronavirus is and steps that they can take to keep themselves safe. Click here to read it!

After spending the day with their teachers learning online, your kids can spend the afternoon sketching Stitch from Disney’s Lilo & Stitch like a pro! Click here to watch the video!

Up Next:

  • Stay tuned for more resources as we follow health and safety precautions!

What We’re Reading:

Health and Safety Updates

Dear Cary Leeds Center Families,

As you know, New York City health officials and the Center for Disease Control  are closely monitoring the rapid emergence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and have advised strict measures to avoid spread of the disease.   We are rigorously following all of these measures for sanitation and disinfection of the Cary Leeds Center and will continue to provide private and semi-private lessons, as well as rental of court time, for the time being.

However,  all group programs, including our Intensive Training Program, our Tournament Team and our Community Tennis Program, and classes will be suspended for the next 30 days and transportation will not be available to the Center.  We will closely monitor the communication and advice from the CDC and NYC public health officials with further plans to follow.
We also request that all of our players and their families help us keep the Cary Leeds Center free of coronavirus by refraining from participation in our programs if any member of your family, or anyone with whom you have had contact has been diagnosed with coronavirus, is experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms or has been directed to self-quarantine for 14 days and until you have tested negative for it.

We have also directed all NYJTL and Cary Leeds staff to remain at home if they experience respiratory symptoms, aches, chills or sign of fever.  Anyone reporting sick to the Cary Leeds Center will be sent home immediately in accordance with these guidelines.
More specifically, as advised by the Center for Disease Control, we have asked all our employees and our guests to:

  • Stay at home if they are sick and contact their doctor with their symptoms
  • Wash their hands frequently with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds
  • Cover their mouth with tissues whenever they sneeze
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Regularly sanitize frequently touched surfaces
  • Do not greet others with a handshake

NYJTL and the Cary Leeds Center will continue to closely monitor developments in the further spread of the coronavirus, announcements from all public health authorities, and will respond accordingly.  The health and safety of all the participants in our programs is most important to us.

Thanks very much for your cooperation and support.

Liezel Huber, Executive Director of Tennis
George Guimaraes, President & CEO

Player Spotlight: Geanna Richard

The mission of NYJTL is to develop young people through tennis and education for a lifetime of success, on and off the court. Geanna Richard began her journey with NYJTL when she was a 12-year-old student in the ACES Afterschool Program at Junior High 383. During the summer, she continued to train at the Community Tennis Program site in Linden Park. Geanna’s commitment to the game grew as she entered high school, crediting the sport with teaching her to “trust myself, because hard work pays off.” We are excited to share that her dedication has paid off: Geanna will be college bound this fall with a full scholarship to Tabor College! She is grateful to her NYJTL coaches for giving her the confidence in her skills and point making. Geanna will continue to play tennis at the collegiate level and looks forward to tournaments and beginning the next chapter of her life.

CTP Presidents’ Week Tournament

Even though school was out, NYJTL’s Community Tennis Program ran the Presidents’ Week 3-Day Doubles Tournament for kids on February 18, 19 and 20.

The CTP Presidents’ Week Tournament had boy & girl divisions in the following age groups: 12, 14, 16, 18 and 9/10. Over 100 participants came to the Cary Leeds Center to play in the tournament!

The boys 12 division was on February 18, and the first and second place winners are all part of tennis-playing families and play year-round on Roosevelt Island at Octagon Park and the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club both led by Site Director Joyce Short and her staff!

The first place winners were Eric Langerman (Age 11) and Ian Remor (Age 11), both who are long-time CTP participants on Roosevelt Island.

Ian currently attends tennis with his sister who plays with him. Eric’s older brother, Danny was a coach with NYJTL for six years and just graduated from Baruch last year.

The second place winners were Alex Cuamani (Age 10) and Uriel Huerta (Age 9), who are also from Roosevelt Island CTP locations. Alex and Uriel are cousins and have older and younger siblings who are also part of CTP.

The third place winners, Mustapha Darbol (age 12) & Kyheem Graham (Age 12) are both from one of our ACES Sites – MS 241X and their coach brought them out to Cary Leeds to participate in the tournament.

Left to Right: Eric, Coach Joyce, Alex, Ian, Uriel, Mustapha, Kyheem

CTP PRESIDENTS’ WEEK – 12 & 14 – FEBRUARY 18, 2020

CTP PRESIDENTS’ WEEK – 18 & Under – FEBRUARY 19, 2020


ACES Afterschool Program Presidents’ Cup Tournament

According to the CDC, school-aged children and adolescents should be active for 60 minutes or more each day, which is why even though school was out, the ACES Afterschool Program was in session.  The ACES Presidents’ Cup Tournament gave the kids the opportunity to express themselves through cheer routines, show off their athleticism through fitness challenges, battle it out to see which school had the best basketball players, and hit serves on the court to see who was the fastest!  The Presidents’ Cup Tournament was held at various locations in NYC with a total of 350 elementary and middle school students participating.  

The elementary school tournament had four different competitions which consisted of the tennis championship, the fitness challenge, the fast server competition and the best cheer contest. The tennis tournament was played in a four team round robin format and the tennis matches consisted of boys singles, girls singles, boys doubles, girls doubles and mixed doubles. The fitness challenge consisted of four different categories; push-ups, sit-ups, jumping rope, and a team relay race. The fast server competition has been an integral part of the competition as two players from each team are chosen by their coach to see who will hit the fastest serve.  The final and most entertaining challenge of the tournament is the cheer competition where the students form a team with their respective schools and create a cheer piece best representing themselves.

The middle school tennis tournament took place on February 21 at the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning. The co-ed basketball championship took place on February 17 at I.S. 061 in Queens.

A total of eight ACES middle schools participated in the tennis tournament played in a round robin format and the tennis game matches consisted of boys singles, girls singles, boys doubles, girls doubles and mixed doubles. The scoring format was the first to score five points to win the match.  A total of 80 students competed against each other representing their respective schools with MS 378 coming out victorious. 

A total of nine ACES middle schools, with 138 students, participated in the basketball tournament with MS 316 winning against the eight other schools.

The February Racket

Inaugural Tennis For America VISTA fellows

NYJTL is proud to announce that we are one of the six nationally recognized organizations who will work together with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) to help address the issues of poverty through tennis in the United States. We are looking for three recent college graduates or seniors to be Tennis for America VISTA fellows to work with New York Junior Tennis & Learning and the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Education from June 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021.

Recent graduates or seniors will have the opportunity to work with under-resourced children in NYJTL sites in one of the five boroughs and to help NYJTL carry out its mission to develop the character of young people through tennis and education for a lifetime of success on and off the court.

Applications are open until February 29, 2020

The Loss of an Idol

The students of Icahn Charter School 2 got the opportunity to meet Kobe Bryant on August 29, 2019.  The kids had an opportunity to play tennis with him, and were saddened to hear that he is no longer with us.

See the tribute the students of Icahn 2 made for him.

Mentoring Month

Mentoring is at the forefront of the NYJTL mission, and we believe that NYC youth deserve the opportunity to be guided thoughtfully, and we are confident that the life skills gained through our programs can provide a powerful catalyst for long-term achievement. York Chu, retired Senior Director of Tennis Programs, has been an amazing mentor to our kids!

SAT Prep

Prepare for the June SAT test! Classes run from February 29 through May 31 and are offered on Saturday OR Sunday. Our qualified tutors will help you prepare for the exam!

There is still time to register!

Up Next:

  • NY Open, February 9-16.  Get your tickets here.
  • ACES President’s Cup Tournament, February 17-21.
  • CTP Boys and Girls Presidents’ Week Doubles, February 18-20.
  • Mixed Doubles Round Robin, February 28.
  • SAT Prep, February 29 – May 31.

What We’re Reading: