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NYJTL Partners with Grand Street Settlement

The Community Tennis Program (CTP) is now partnering with Grand Street Settlement, a historic social service institution that provides personalized resources and direct services to NYC families and communities. NYJTL’s collaboration with the institution operates in Bushwick Cornerstone and Williamsburg Cornerstone, with a third site at Rutgers Cornerstone by early next year. Participants at these new sites will receive free tennis instruction with equipment provided at no cost. NYJTL is excited to partner with Grand Street Settlement to align around our shared missions of serving the city’s under-resourced youth from low-income communities.

ACES Celebrates Thanksgiving

On November 23, 2021 the ACES Afterschool Program (ACES) participants of PS 93 in Brooklyn celebrated Thanksgiving by having an afternoon filled with holiday meals and activities. Students from kindergarten through 5th grade enjoyed a festive lunch to celebrate the holiday followed by homework help sessions to work on their day school assignments.  Once homework was completed, students wrote and decorated holiday cards giving thanks to their families and loved ones. Younger students colored activity sheets that taught them the importance of gratitude while older students enjoyed a movie after playing brain teaser games. After a fun and enriching afternoon of exercising their holiday spirit, PS 93 ACES students were picked up by their families and ready to return home.

ACES x Padlet

Padlet is an educational technology that has recently been launched by ACES and has innovated the way in which our staff, administrators, and parents interact. Padlet is a live bulletin board that allows for uniformity of agency amongst our sites. It has served as an essential tool that creatively streamlines core areas and materials necessary for the effective operation of our programs promoting STEM, literacy, fitness, arts, and leadership for all ACES participants.

Family Testimonial

“I am so¬†grateful and appreciative we are in the CTP program! It is an invaluable¬†resource. Tennis is a highly respected sport that provides valuable opportunities. It is also very expensive to pursue.¬† As a single parent, I am passionate about providing opportunities for my girls to have; a¬†positive¬†and quality childhood, education, self-image, life, etc…Thank you NYJTL for all that you do!”¬†– CTP Parent

CTP Holiday Tournament!

  • Girls 12s, 14s, & 18s
    • Tuesday, December 28, 2021
  • Boys 12s, 14s, & 18s
    • Wednesday, December 29, 2021
  • Boys and Girls: 8 & Under
    • Thursday, December 30, 2021

All tournaments are held from 8 am to 12 pm (Registration begins at 7:30 am) at the Cary Leeds Center. Just show up and play!

NYJTL Comes to Grand St. Settlement to Expand Services for Underserved Youth

New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL) is excited to announce its partnership with Grand St. Settlement, a historic social service institution that provides personalized resources and direct services to NYC families and communities. In collaboration with the institution, NYJTL has launched its successful Community Tennis Program (CTP) at select Grand St. settlement sites, which currently operate in Bushwick Cornerstone Community Center and Williamsburg Cornerstone Community Center, with a third site at Rutgers Cornerstone Community Center opening early next year.  

‚ÄúPartnering with Grand St. Settlement is the fulfillment of the original vision Arthur Ashe had to utilize tennis and education to better the lives of our city‚Äôs most under-resourced youth,‚ÄĚ said NYJTL CEO & President Udai Tambar. ‚ÄúI believe these communities we are beginning to reach will become part of the essential fabric of our mission, network, and family.‚Ä̬†

‚ÄúNew York City youth need options for quality, enriching, and fun activities when they are¬†not in school and their parents are at work,‚ÄĚ said Grand St.¬†Settlement Executive Director Robert Cordero.¬†‚ÄúThis partnership with NYJTL will give thousands of young people¬†the opportunity¬†to learn and exercise through tennis, a sport that is admired but rarely played in the neighborhoods we serve because of¬†barriers to access.‚Ä̬†

CTP at the Grand St. Settlement locations will be run by longtime NYJTL team member Joyce Short. Coach Joyce is currently the Site Director for CTP in Roosevelt Island, which she first opened in 1991. In her 30 years of service to NYJTL, she has worked with thousands of children and families to strengthen their character and development through tennis. In her role, she manages staff, creates curriculum, and instructs youth who participate in the program. She also serves as the District Developer for Manhattan and Eastern Queens, where she recruits schools and assists them in incorporating tennis into their physical education curriculums.  

Coach Joyce‚Äôs impact is far reaching, and tangible for many of the kids she works with.¬†One family¬†that¬†has witnessed these contributions first hand is the¬†Santamaria family, who has three children who¬†are¬†actively involved¬†at the CTP site in Roosevelt Island¬†–¬†both as coaches and players. Amidst the pandemic, their father struggled with his own recovery from COVID-19, so it is especially rewarding for them to be able to return to the¬†court under Coach Joyce‚Äôs leadership.¬†¬†

Moreover, Anthony Garcia, one of her students at the Roosevelt Island site, was recently awarded $10,000 as the recipient of the Nora McNeeley Hurley Leadership Award from the USTA Foundation based on his academic excellence, participation in NYJTL, and community involvement.  

The work of team members like Coach Joyce exemplifies the importance that programs like CTP have on under-resourced youth and families, and it is exciting to see its growth and impact on new communities. Grand St. Settlement’s sites and NYJTL’s skilled staff and targeted programming will strengthen shared missions of promoting healthy living and community-based learning to NYC youth who need it most.  


ACES Launches Innovative Technology to Streamline Academic Support

Padlet is an educational technology that has recently been launched by our ACES Afterschool Program (ACES) and has innovated the way in which our staff, administrators, and parents interact. Padlet is a live bulletin board that allows for uniformity of agency and autonomy amongst our sites. It has served as an essential tool that streamlines core areas necessary for the effective operation of our programs promoting STEM, literacy, physical activity, arts, leadership, and nutrition for ACES participants. Each key player of ACES can view essential materials in real time, such as lesson plans, schedules, external training and resources, assessments, and more. 

The platform promotes creativity for these programs, which our staff has implemented through key themes. For example, this week P.S. 037Q‚Äôs Activities Padlet¬†has a theme of ‚ÄúBeing Thankful‚ÄĚ and highlights lesson plans that detail specific activity processes and post-lesson assessments focused on gratitude. Every site is¬†unique, so¬†Padlet¬†allows¬†ACES Site Directors to personalize their online bulletins to meet the needs of their¬†distinctive schools.¬†Moreover,¬†because Padlet fosters a virtual community,¬†ACES participants can¬†still¬†benefit from our enrichment programming even when circumstances disallow them from¬†attending¬†in person.¬†¬†

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Matthew & Emmanuel Usman 
CTP+ Player Feature

Twin brothers, Matthew and Emmanuel Usman have been a part of the CTP program for several years. Not only are they a part of the CTP+ Program, a program designed for players who have demonstrated competitive ability and potential beyond the level of those at their current CTP location, but they are also coaches.

Emmanuel highlights his initial experience with NYJTL:¬†“The¬†very first time I went to NYJTL was probably¬†my¬†most memorable. I was super nervous because I decided to try a new sport at 15 years old. Christian Georges was my first coach during the Winter Weekend Indoors program at the NTC. I saw so many kids playing of all ages, all levels and from so many different backgrounds. It was super fun even if I was bad at the sport at the time.”¬†For Matthew, “the best part of being with NYJTL is realizing that it’s impossible to stop growing, from good days to bad days on court there is always something to take away. The many friends and coaches I spend entire seasons training, playing, and competing with create bonds and memories that I will never forget.”

Emmanuel and Matthew appreciated the CTP+ program. For them, it is a huge opportunity to perfect their mental and physical strength. Through this program, their confidence in their abilities and to compete increased.

Matthew and Emmanuel are both excited for the CTP Winter session to start November 13!

Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month and is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories, and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportunity to raise a general awareness about the challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.

ACES Fall Festival

The ACES Fall Festival was BACK this year! After a COVID hiatus, on October 11, all 27 ACES Afterschool sites participated in the event. However, to ensure the safety of all NYJTL participants and staff, the event was held at each individual site, and partially over Zoom. There were games, bounce houses, a carnival, raffles, prizes and more! Hundreds of children from ACES schools all across the five boroughs participated.

STP Training is BACK!

The School Time Tennis Program (STP) trainings are run at the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning, with the purpose of instructing Physical Education teachers how to teach the fundamentals of tennis in school, and to provide instructional drills and games to use during physical education time. The first training session of the school year is December 8!

Welcome Shenay Perry

Shenay Perry is the NEW Associate Director Of High Performance And Adult Programming!
Shenay played on the WTA tour with a career high of #40 in singles and #97 in doubles, and has worked with some remarkable players like Coco Gauff and Sofia Kenin as juniors and Kristie Ahn at the pro level.

Breast Cancer Walk

On October 8, one of our ACES Afterschool sites, PS 129, had a Breast Cancer Walk! They provided their school administration with breast cancer awareness bags, and did a pink & white balloon release. Way to go, team!

The Cary Leeds Center has you covered.

The bubble at the Cary Leeds Center went up October 13-14 to weather you from the storm.

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CTP Expands Services with Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation Funds

The Community Tennis Program has expanded its services to include CTP+, a program to advance the tennis ability of dedicated CTP players. The goal of the CTP+ program will be to develop tennis technique at a higher level. It is designed for those players who have proven their competitive ability and potential beyond the level of their peers.

This new program will be FREE for players and their families, including extended hours of play (during both the outdoor and indoor seasons), smaller coach to player ratios, and be run out of Linden Park (Brooklyn) and Forest Park (Queens) for the outdoor season.

The¬†launch¬†began¬†the¬†week of¬†September¬†13¬†and¬†will¬†run through¬†the end of October¬†for the fall season.¬†READ THE FULL STORY…

National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month. NYJTL celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of our Hispanic students, players, coaches, teachers, and leaders who inspire us to be our best selves.

The Boathouse Bash Center

It was great to be #backtotheboathouse last week! We had a night under the stars with an auction, dancing, food, and more! Check out our photo gallery!

Gordon Reid

NYJTL partnered with UNIQLO to bring world No. 4 in singles, world No. 1 in doubles, Paralympic gold medalist and three-time Grand Slam singles champion Gordon Reid to the Cary Leeds Center! The kids had an amazing time on the court with him!

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NYJTL x Naomi Osaka

Last week, participants from the Community Tennis Program got the opportunity to meet Naomi Osaka, reigning champion at the US Open and the Australian Open, and the first Asian player to hold the top ranking in singles.

NYJTL partnered with Laureus Sports, an organization founded under the Patronage of Nelson Mandela, and their Sport for Good initiative that uses sport as a powerful and cost-effective tool to help children and young people overcome violence, discrimination, and disadvantage in their lives. This year, Osaka was awarded the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year.

NYJTL kids had the opportunity to hit with Naomi on the newly refurbished Detective Keith L. Williams Park in Jamaica, Queens, where her journey as a tennis player began.  It was an inspiring day, and one that our kids will remember for a lifetime.

Community Tennis

This summer the CTP program served nearly 4,500 players at 23 sites, in all five NYC boroughs! The kids had the opportunity to work on their tennis skills, get exercise, and make some new friends. Congratulations to our CTP coaches, who coach from the heart!

ACES Afterschool

This school year, the ACES program ran¬†summer programs at¬†28 school sites¬†with full enrollment targets fulfilled.¬†23 schools received above average rating, validating NYJTL’s leadership role in providing excellent afterschool programming. Way to go ACES team!

The Cary Leeds Center

Nearly 1,500 campers spent their summer days keeping active on court, making new tennis friends, and perfecting their game! Campers worked on their technique in the development level and honed their tournament play in the high performance level.

Taste of Tennis

NYJTL partnered with our friends at Taste of Tennis to bring their food truck of paletitas, made by Chef Fanny Gerson, to the Cary Leeds Center on August 11. The kids loved their cold, sweet treats after a long day of tennis!