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USTA Tennis & Education Foundation awards three Florida organizations

December 21, 2006 10:34 AM

The St. Petersburg Tennis Center, Hebni Nutrition Consultants and the MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation were the recipients of USTA national grant money to help grow their children's programs in 2007.  Each organization provides a necessary service for the children in their programs, and the USTA Tennis and Education Foundation is glad to aid in their efforts. 

The St. Petersburg Tennis Center is a tennis and educational center that creates a safe environment for children, free from drugs, alcohol, anger and prejudice where children can excel as students and athletes.  By combining on and off court life skills, tennis and education, the St. Petersburg Tennis Center empowers children to reach their full potential and succeed in life.

There are currently 350 youths, ages 4-17, enrolled in their tennis, education and life skills programs. With the USTA Tennis and Education Foundation grant money, the tennis center will enhance their classroom learning environment with computers, supplies and instruction that children would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience. 

Hebni Nutrition Consultants provides nutritional classes to the African-American communities in Orlando.  They adopted tennis as the physical activity of choice to enhance their nutritional programming, providing tennis and nutritional education to 60 children this summer.  Hebni implemented the Keeping Your Diet Straight (KYDS) after-school program in February 2006, which provided weekly nutrition education, exercise demonstrations and healthy cooking classes to African-American youth ages 11-14.

KYDS will reach approximately 85 minority students every year who are at risk for Type II Diabetes and obesity.  Their nutrition teachings keep children engaged, and tennis is a positive addition to their program.  Hebni’s commitment to improving the health of children in the African-American community is inspiring, and the expansion of their services is greatly beneficial.

The MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation (MWKF) is one of the premier organizations in Florida that consistently delivers quality programs to children in need.  The foundation, located in Jacksonville, promotes academic achievement and positive life skills to youth through the game of tennis and mentoring programs. 

MWKF’s core program is Tennis and Tutoring (TnT).  This program provides a FREE three-hour after-school program consisting of one hour of homework assistance, one hour of character development/community involvement and one hour of recreation, which includes at least two days of tennis instruction.

MWKF looks to expand their MaliVai’s Partners (MVP) mentoring program which matches high school adolescent and community volunteers with youth for weekly tutoring, homework assistance and mentoring activities.  In 2006, through their tennis and education programs, MWKF reached more than 3,000 disadvantaged youth and TnT alone had 134 kids on its roster.  The difference MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation makes in children’s lives is phenomenal, and funding for their programs is advantageous.
The success of the St. Petersburg Tennis Center, Hebni Nutrition Consultants and the MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation is remarkable.  All three organizations conduct programs that have a positive effect on the lives of children and recognize the importance of being present and available to kids.  The future remains bright for children in these programs, and the possibility of achievement is promising.  The USTA Tennis and Education Foundation is happy to recognize these three organizations for their hard work and continual dedication to growing the sport of tennis in Florida.






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