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USTA Serves Awards to Florida Organizations

February 4, 2009 04:57 PM

USTA Serves – Foundation for Academics. Character. Excellence., the philanthropic and charitable entity of the USTA, announced today that it has awarded 39 grants in its final “Aces for Kids” funding cycle for 2008, for a total of $574,700. Among the organizations selected was First Serve of the Palm Beaches in Palm Beach, with a $10,000 grant, Hebni Nutrition Consultants in Orlando, with a $20,000 grant, and the Greater Miami Tennis & Education Foundation in Miami, with a $15,000 grant.  The number of program grants awarded in 2008 was 58, for a total amount of $886,960. Combined with scholarship awards, the Foundation distributed almost $1.2 million in 2008.

USTA Serves awards grants to programs that successfully combine tennis and education and help children pursue their goals and highest dreams by succeeding in school and becoming responsible citizens.

“Aces for Kids” is a national initiative of USTA Serves. It strives to promote healthy lifestyles by combating childhood/adult obesity by providing underserved, at-risk children the opportunity to learn to play tennis and improve their academic skills in a structured format. At “Aces for Kids” program sites, children between the ages of 5-18 learn about healthy nutrition and lifestyles, responsible citizenship, study skills, and computer literacy; interact with a mentor and other students; attend college preparatory sessions; and learn to play tennis in a team format.

First Serve of the Palm Beaches offers educational and recreational programming that challenges and inspires underserved young people who are dedicated to succeed in life. The USTA Serves grant will enable the organization to continue its strategy of providing programs and services that educate on health and diversity issues, life-skills, and safety. First Serve’s after-school tennis program for more than 150 kids, ages 5-18, enlightens students about academic performance, healthy lifestyles, and school truancy in a safe, nurturing environment. Summer activities include Association for Retarded Citizens classes, as well as summer youth tennis and education programs.

Hebni Nutrition Consultants, Inc. (HNC) is a community-based non-profit organization committed to improving consumers’ health by providing comprehensive nutrition information through seminars and education programs. HNC targets culturally diverse populations who are at risk for obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension and other diet-related diseases. The grant funds will be used to expand its health and wellness program, K.Y.D.S. Take Charge, at the Winter Park Community Center in Winter Park, Fla., to include weekly tennis instruction. The program reaches approximately 85 minority students each year who are at risk for Type II diabetes and obesity, and provides weekly nutrition education and exercise demonstrations, as well as healthy cooking classes.

The Greater Miami Tennis & Education Foundation (GMTEF) is a nonprofit organization that offers free tennis, education and life skills programs to economically and socially disadvantaged children in Miami-Dade County. Since 1974, GMTEF has made an impact on the lives of more than 2,000 children annually through after-school and summer programs in neighborhood parks and schools, helping kids stay off the streets, perform on and off the court, and pursue a college education. The USTA Serves grant funds will enhance the facilitation of the First Serve life skills curriculum, which is based on research provided by educators, psychologists and physical fitness experts. This comprehensive program targets children of all ages and backgrounds, to teach and guide them in mastering basic concepts for their future, such as how to introduce yourself, be a positive team player, achieve personal goals, resist peer pressure, resolve conflicts, handle money, and prepare for higher education and/or employment.

“It is extremely rewarding to see how programs across the country are using USTA Serves funding to help children improve academically and learn positive life skills which will help them grow to be healthy, productive adults,” said Karen Martin-Eliezer, Chief Executive, USTA Serves. “We are grateful to the USTA, and so many corporations and individual donors for the generous support that empowers USTA Serves to allocate life-changing funds.”






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