Creating Scholar Athletes: Tennis & Education

Dec 26, 2012

PAST&E Launches the Felton Factor

The Felton Factor
The Felton Factor

Portland After School Tennis & Education (PAST&E) is pleased to announce the launch of the Felton Factor, a “Best in Class” development program serving at-risk junior players who excel at tennis.

The Felton Factor—named in honor of longtime PAST&E board member Matt Felton—focuses on strengthening participants’ fundamental tennis skills, preparing them for competitive play, and encouraging sportsmanship. The program also strives to improve competitiveness against private-club players who generally have greater resources and training opportunities.

“Our 'scholar athletes' participating in the Felton Factor have demonstrated excellence both on and off the court,” says PAST&E Executive Director Danice Brown. “Through the Felton Factor they will continue to set a standard for other PAST&E scholar athletes to follow.”

To build their leadership skills, Felton Factor participants also serve as assistant coaches to PAST&E’s core staff, helping implement the organization’s tennis and fitness programming.


Oct 22, 2012

Back to School and Celebrating Hispanic Heritage at PAST&E

Two scholar athletes enjoying the celebration!
Two scholar athletes enjoying the celebration!

Back to School, Back to PAST&E

With children returning to the classroom in September, we were pleased to welcome 14 new Scholar Athletes to PAST&E. They are enjoying the benefit of PAST&E's enriching academic and athletic curriculum, which includes tennis and fitness instruction, educational tutoring and life-skills training. They will also compete on and off the court in the National Student Athlete Contest through the USTA, which tracks student grades and USTA league and tournament results.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

At PAST&E we greatly value learning about our heritage and that of others. To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month we have been learning about hispanic culture in addition to learning what heritage is and how each person and family is unique! Our first Family Meeting was an opportunity to celebrate hispanic culture together with an amazing Mariachi band and a salsa party! Family Meetings are an important way in which PAST&E reinforces a sense of community amongst our scholar athletes, their families, our staff and volunteers.

Families listening to the Mariachi Band!
Families listening to the Mariachi Band!


Aug 1, 2012

PAST&E's Serving Up Success Summer Program

A handmade Felucca ship from the Nile River
A handmade Felucca ship from the Nile River

PAST&E's summer programming got off to a great start with our "Greatest Rivers of the World" educational tour. We started off in North America learning about the Mackenzie River in Canada, followed by the Rio Grande (called the Rio Bravo in Mexico) which runs through 3 U.S. and 4 Mexican states. 

Each day of learning is a divergence from what many students experience at school. We emphasize student led learning, where a student or group of students are presented with a challenge and can then experiment and find a solution on their own. We hope to enable each student to love investigating and coming up with creative solutions to simple and difficult problems alike!

Some of the other themes for the summer include: 

Plant and Animal Adaptations: What makes an animal suited to live in a particular habitat? 

Cultures: What makes a certain area unique? How do people live differently, depending upon their surroundings?

World Geography: How many countries can you name on each of the continents? Do you know any of the capital cities? Our students will be learning as many as possible this summer, increasing our knowledge of and familiarity with the world outside of Portland, OR!

Click on the links below to read the full articles about our first 3 weeks traveling the Greatest Rivers of the World!

And check out our map to see all of the destinations that we will "visit" throughout the summer!

Learning the Countries of South America
Learning the Countries of South America
St Basil
St Basil's Cathedral in Russia (Volga River visit)


May 16, 2012

Environmental Awareness at PAST&E

Reused Milk Containers with Starter Seeds!
Reused Milk Containers with Starter Seeds!

Earth day is an incredibly meaningful day for Portland After-School Tennis & Education. We are always looking for ways to bring peace to our community and also spend a portion of our extended learning summer program learning about what we can do to save Endangered Animals and the Environment. 

This April we read about young adults and children who have made big changes in their world: one built a windmill in his village in Africa in order to bring electricity to his neighbors, another started a campaign to plant 1 million trees: to date, that project has planted 1 BILLION TREES! We also read about the Greenhouse Gas effect, and how energy is produced. Our coaches are pretty amazing at finding engaging reading materials for all of our K-6th grade scholar athletes. 

We've made it a year round habit at PAST&E to recycle and compost every day, but this month we were looking for more ways to reduce, reuse and recycle so we started a few projects! First off, we got seeds started for the PAST&E Garden, planting them in our single serving milk cartons that each student gets every day at PAST&E in their healthy snack. And to really get the garden going, we received Broccoli, Peas and Lettuce from Portland Nursery which we planted this weekend! The PAST&E Families are tending to the new starters and we hoping to plant them in a few weeks! To keep our planting schedule on track we've also received help from students at University of Portland and Oregon Health and Sciences University who've helped us prioritize our garden in the busy PAST&E schedule! Thank you to each of these groups for their help!

And finally, we saved up our paper and plastic recycled materials to use for a recycled art project with the theme: Imaginary Animals! And the results were some of the cutest animals we've seen!

Recycled Lion
Recycled Lion
Recycled Elephant
Recycled Elephant


Feb 15, 2012

PAST&E's Fitness Dance Program!

PAST&E Students Dancing!
PAST&E Students Dancing!

In the Spring of 2011 the Student Athletes at Portland After-School Tennis &Education (PAST&E) took up the challenge to learn the dance moves to Beyoncé’s “Let’s Move” in conjunction with Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign promoting active youth lifestyles! In addition to pledging to participate in the Let’s Move campaign, PAST&E also participates in the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award Challenge.

After learning Let’s Move, the PAST&E student athletes, volunteers, families and coaches were hungry for more and with our Coach Alyssa’s help we’ve learned 8 fitness dances and counting.

Our fitness dances have become a critical part of fulfilling our mission which includes a strong emphasis on fitness and nutrition to help curb childhood obesity. Every day at PAST&E our student athletes participate in at least 60 minutes of fitness and tennis activities, and many students have taken these dances home to their families who have also learned the steps!

The PAST&E fitness dances are incorporated into our Daily Peace Circles, in which we focus on ways that together we can encourage peace in our daily lives, our community and in our world. Dancing together builds our sense of a PAST&E family, warms us up for tennis each afternoon and keeps fitness fun and engaging for all student athletes regardless of ability.

Thank you for your support of our program! With your help we continue to make a distinct change in the lives of the student athletes we work with!


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Project Leader

Danice Brown

Portland, OR United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Creating Scholar Athletes: Tennis & Education