Candidates for the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship
The sun is returning to the Portland skies, the soil in the gardens is warming-up and the trees that shade the St. Johns Racquet Center are coming into leaf again. While outside things are just getting underway, inside, the last 3 months have been as active as any Spring day and we're thrilled to share that with you. (Including a name change from Portland After School Tennis & Education to Portland Tennis & Education.)
In March, we eagerly anticipated Spring and got a head start on Earth Day, a holiday enthusiastically celebrated by the Portland Tennis & Education family. The budding scholar athletes in the Preescolar Bilingüe celebrated recycling month. These youngest among us worked on projects about reusing, reducing, and recycling and learned to be stewards of the Earth.
In that spirit, the whole community came together for our annual birdhouse competition. Families and staff were challenged to make functional birdhouses entirely from reused and recycled materials (excepting nails and glue). This year's Annual Birdhouse Contest was a great success with over 25 houses submitted! Community events like the birdhouse contest are a key part of our program, bringing together the Portland Tennis & Education family to celebrate creativity, collaboration and other core values.
This strong community is one of the most important elements of this program you so generously support. Just as Portland Tennis & Education's scholar athletes benefit from your generosity, we aim for them to develop generosity as one of their core values. In February, all the scholar athletes, from Preschool through 10th grade participated in Kids for Peace's Great Kindness Challenge. During the challenge, scholar athletes built a colorful paper "kindness chain," with each link representing a kind act practiced: using good manners, sharing, helping without being asked, following directions the first time, and so much more. Like a burning flame, kindness is not reduced in the sharing of it. Scholar athletes put this into practice, collecting change for Kind Coins For Kenya, a program that raises money for building schools in Kenya. Our scholar athletes donated $250 so that Kenyan students can have a safe, stable place to learn in their village.
We know from firsthand experience the positive impact of our program, and we greatly value the contribution you as a supporter make in this, so we are pleased to share the public recognition the program receives. During the past three months, our scholar athletes and Portland Tennis & Education have garnered exceptional recognition.
We are proud to announce that Portland Tennis & Education Seventh Graders and their families were invited to research and apply for the The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program, which has "to date supported over 800 students from across the nation, providing them with individualized educational advising combined with comprehensive financial support from the 8th grade through high school.” A scholarship award would provide the opportunity for assistance from an academic and college counselor, funding for summer and academic enrichment programs, internships and study abroad opportunities, and educational resources including books and technology. Dr. Bukhosi Dube, member of our Board and past recipient of this scholarship, has been advising families and helping them through the application process.
In January, Portland Tennis & Education received one of the greatest accolades in its two decade history. Each year Tennis Industry magazine announces its "Champions of Tennis" awards. In 2013, our Executive Director, Danice Brown, was recognized as "Grassroots Tennis Champion of the Year" for her work with Portland Tennis & Education. Now Tennis Industry has chosen us as their inaugural recipient of the "National Junior Tennis and Learning Chapter of the Year" award. This recognition is one that all scholar athletes, families, staff, volunteers, and supporters like yourself can take pride in. With Portland Tennis & Education in the spotlight what we do here is all the more important, and the contributions you make will have all the more impact. The USTA already uses as Portland Tennis & Education as a model for other NJTL chapters, and this award increases the visibility of our work. Donations to our program will effect tennis and tutoring both in the St. Johns neighborhood and across the country.
All of the above is but a small taste of what has happened over just the last three months, we encourage you to visit our Facebook page to see all the exciting activity that has ushered us into Spring.
All of these exciting opportunities and achievements, the vigorous mental and physical growth of our scholar athletes, depends on tutors and families, true, but it also depends upon the support of individuals like you. We thank you for your past support and encourage you to donate again. If you have not already, please consider signing up for a monthly donation at GlobalGiving.
Cesar & His Family Show Off Their Birdhouse
Counting Kind Coins for Kenya Donations