Close the Gap
with InnerCity Tennis
every kid Can succeed Dear Friends, As InnerCity Tennis (ICT) looks to the future, we are very excited about the development of our programs serving Minneapolis children and youth. For over 60 years, ICT has been serving kids who otherwise would not have access to youth development programs like the ones we offer. Our innovative programming, which includes physical activity, tennis and education, is the vehicle that inspires all youth to attain their highest potential. We reach approximately 4,000 young people each year, ages 3 to 18, including at-risk kids, children of color, children from low-income families and children diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Our programs attract diverse families from all over the city, and through free programs and scholarships, we make sure our programs are available to children at all income levels. In addition to our signature KidspeedÂŽ program, we launched two new programs this past year: zz Academic Creative Engagement (ACE), a nationally accredited literacy, math and social/emotional wellness curriculum, developed by the USTAâ€™s National Junior Tennis & Learning organization, in collaboration with the Search Institute. zz Cities Academy, in partnership with acclaimed tennis coach John Wheaton, a unique multi-dimensional tennis and life training program for teens. The epicenter of our organization, and a significant source of our ongoing financial resources, is the Reed Sweatt Family Tennis Center in the heart of South Minneapolis. This indoor tennis center is open 7 days a week, 16 hours a day, serving an average of 3,500 players each week. After nearly 20 years, the two domes are at the end of their useful life and need to be replaced. Our campaign will enable us to replace our domes and meet the growing demands of our programs, to create innovative classroom space for youth and enhance educational programming, and to secure the future of a vibrant community organization for youth to reach their full potential. Because of ICT, children and youth have access to programs that they normally would not. I hope you will consider joining us to Raise the Roof and Close the Gap. Together we can help in the development of our children and youth and strengthen our entire community! Thank you,
Robert W. Oberrender, Board Chair
Kids at risk InnerCity Tennis was founded in 1952 by city leaders who wanted to open up the sport of tennis to those with fewer opportunities. Today, that mission is still with us, but those we serve are struggling with an opportunity gap that is wider than it has been in decades. Children of color and youth living in poverty are at special risk. Sixty percent of the children we serve at InnerCity Tennis are children of color who represent many community cultures and speak multiple languages. Our youngest come from the Fraser and McKnight Head Start programs, where 90 percent of those enrolled are children of color. InnerCity Tennis offers unique programs that provide opportunities that are missing for many children and youth. We do this by providing instruction, play, and a setting and curriculum that build character traits needed for success. Last year, InnerCity Tennis served more than 4,000 young people and provided more than $50,000 in scholarships. We provide programming at no fee to children and
Child Poverty Rates
Native American & African populations
40% Black & Asian populations
67% White students
39% Students of color
partner schools based on revenue generated from adults and families who use our tennis facilities year-round for practice, lessons and tournament play. That means it’s doubly important to keep our facilities in top “Based upon my youth program condition; our programs and the community development work in hundreds of we serve both depend on it!
cities, InnerCity Tennis is the best While numbers are impressive, what really sports-related program I have counts is our impact on an entire community. seen. Its success is measured not That’s why we’re investing now to replace our aging domes and fund infrastructure and by athletic achievement but by its program expansion to provide benefits for impact on young people’s values many years to come. and life skills. InnerCity Tennis Join us now to support this community asset in grows caring and responsible the heart of Minneapolis. young people. It’s exactly what Together, we can change lives. our society needs.” Peter Benson, Search Institute Founder
Triple 25% the rates from 1980
of Minnesota children are overweight
(at least 1 hour of activity per day)
32% of kids ages 6–13
16% of teens
Sources: Minneapolis Public Schools, Hennepin County SHAPE Survey
Core Values at the speed of kids
Kidspeed® connects 3- to 7-year-olds in a dynamic, fast-paced program run at “kid speed.” Through our unique tennis, play and learning curriculum, we ignite an enduring love of physical activity and working with others, and we deliver this program in a multigenerational community of supportive volunteers. We developed our signature Kidspeed program partnership with the world-renowned Search Institute, known for their ground-breaking work on the 40 Developmental Assets that young people need to become “Many of these children (with Autism Spectrum successful and contributing adults. Kidspeed Disorder) struggle to participate in general programs encompass the seven core values tied physical education classes and also don’t to these developmental assets. We also deliver participate in outside sports. To see them doing programming for children with autism at three athletics, building their skills, building their confidence and having fun is truly amazing … elementary schools, providing an innovative I believe that their experience will impact their way to reach the growing numbers of youth future interests in athletics, be it tennis or with this condition. another activity.” Michele Glynn works with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder at Hale School in Minneapolis. Her students in Kidspeed are in grades K–3.
“All of us want the best for our kids. The InnerCity Tennis program plays an important part in developing into a well rounded person. While it teaches younger kids skills and valuable lessons while participating, it helps older kids grow through volunteering.” Chris Exted is the parent of three youth in the program.
perseverance integrity respect enthusiasm
Volunteers Bridge the Generation Gap Our unique organizational model enables us to effectively grow our programming through the efforts of our outstanding group of volunteers. We work with 250 volunteers of all ages, but primarily seniors, who support staff in delivering programming to children, both on site at our Saturday Program and in the community through our Outreach Program. The intergenerational relationships forged between volunteers and children and youth are integral to the success of our
Kids who Ace
This year, we expanded our educational programming with ACE (Academic Creative Engagement), a nationally-accredited educational curriculum, developed by United States Tennis Association’s National Junior Tennis and Learning. The ACE curriculum was also developed in concert with the Search Institute and integrates math, literacy, and social/emotional and physical wellness with tennis for students in third to fifth grade. Our goal is “For me, finding tennis made a big difference. My to become the premiere tennis organization parents wanted for me what every parent wants delivering ACE, evaluating impacts and for their child — to learn a sport and have a wellcontributing to the national rounded education. InnerCity Tennis opens up development of this unique a world of opportunities for many kids educational approach to youth that would otherwise not have access development. to the sport.” Braulio Carrasco, of Dominican heritage, is a teacher at Emerson elementary school and connected the mostly Latino population at the Richard R. Green Central Park School in South Minneapolis to InnerCity Tennis. Braulio also volunteers at the Saturday Program.
In 2013, we created Cities Academy in partnership with John Wheaton, a nationally esteemed tennis coach and educator. Cities Academy is designed to provide holistic, character-based programming for our teens to encourage them to aspire to excel to the best of their ability, in sports, academics, “Not only does Cities Academy continue to advance and life, as they mature through middle and my daughter as a national competitive junior high school. With tennis as the foundation, player, they are advancing her with defining her Cities Academy encompasses training of mind, values and character that will take her so far in life. body and physical prowess. Cities Academy is teaching my child the lessons of becoming a champion on and off the court.” Julie Lindbloom is the parent of a daughter in Cities Academy.
of tennis program participants are at a healthy weight.
of tennis program participants are engaged in their community USTA Serves Special Report
Tennis for all building community through tennis
Summer Tennis in the Parks By numbers alone, our Summer Tennis in the Parks program is wildly successful. We create more than 50 jobs each summer for youth, many of whom grew up learning tennis with us. They’re hired as coaches for this program serving 23 Minneapolis parks on the north and south sides of the city. “I was amazed to see a flyer for the Summer Tennis Approximately 1,250 kids participated in in the Parks program with full scholarships available. our long-standing Summer Tennis in the Tennis was only for wealthy people in Ecuador Parks program in 2013.
where I grew up. We live in North Minneapolis; unfortunately, I can’t say to my kids, go and play outside – it can be dangerous. So for us, the tennis helps a lot. We know that moms are there, the coaches are there and we feel safe in that area.” Veronica Bedon, a native of Ecuador and mom of Gabriella, 14, and Carolina, 7, sees her daughters growing in self-confidence, communication and tennis skills in their three years with the Saturday and Summer programs.
Super Saturdays: Where character counts InnerCity Tennis’ Saturday Program is an amazing opportunity for Minneapolis families to bring their children, starting at age three, to engage in fast-paced exercise in a team, led by volunteer team “captains,” set to music and imbued with the core values and character traits that distinguish our program. We devote our entire 11-court facility to youth – at no charge – from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. each Saturday between mid-September and mid-April. The older teen players volunteer to help the younger children, alongside dozens of seniors. Each week, students learn about commitment, teamwork, sportsmanship, perseverance and responsibility. Saturday programs also offer another chance to teach nutrition; we serve healthy snacks and engage in conversations about choices to fuel our bodies for sports and life.
Community Impact Last year, InnerCity Tennis programs served nearly 4,000 children and youth in Minneapolis at our tennis center, at outreach programs and at parks across Minneapolis.
zz More than community outreach programs to children at Head Start, Green Central and four elementary schools, free of charge to the students and schools. zz KidspeedÂŽ programming to children diagnosed on the autism spectrum during the entire academic year at three Minneapolis elementary schools, at to the students or schools. zz
no cost More than $50,000 in scholarships to youth participating in Summer
Tennis in the Parks and Junior Instruction programs. zz Nutrition information and free healthy snacks to
1,200 children at
zz Dedicated volunteers who donated more than hours to help run our exceptional programming.
zz Approximately steps through physical activity, burning 10 million calories in 2013 alone!
â€œInnerCity Tennis is doing a terrific job providing programs that really make a difference to kids in Minneapolis. We are contributing to this campaign because having the infrastructure in place and in good repair is essential to the positive impact they make on the entire Minneapolis community.â€? Christine Nickels, Director of Community Tennis USTA Northern
From 3 to 93 Ki ds
formance A Per ge s gh 12 –1 Hi
Our high-school-aged players circle back to become coaches to the youngest players at our Summer Tennis in the Parks program. Both middle school and high school participants volunteer and serve the young children in our Kidspeed program, fulfilling one of our seven goal character traits.
InnerCity “graduates” have gone on to college and a wide range of careers, including attorneys, educators, physicians, mental health professionals, and yes, tennis instructors!
Age s 13– 18
Volunteers n e Te
Tennis in the Parks
s Ac tie Ci
InnerCity Tennis is evolving and expanding to serve our young participants as they grow and develop as teens. Children start with us in Kidspeed®, our unique, fast-paced, widely varied curriculum that puts children ages 3 to 7 through physical rigor set to fun, upbeat music. From Kidspeed, children move up Ace Gr 7 es 3– ad to Tennis Fundamentals and ACE, as Ag es d 3– e we integrate tennis and academics e 5 p in a dynamic fashion to support diverse learning styles. Ultimately, youth move on to participate in Cities Academy as they progress through middle and high school, with a supportive emphasis on tennis skills, academic success and career orientation, and the mental tenacity and perseverance (All Ages) that will propel them toward their highest potential.
Weâ€™re raising the roof to
Close the Gap InnerCity Tennis is undertaking a major renovation project with poignant urgency after our especially harsh winter in 2013â€“14. We must replace our aging domes to continue delivering programming that children and youth in our city depend upon. We will also be able to increase generated revenue by enhancing infrastructure to create greater energy efficiency and renovating to improve the customer experience. This, in turn, allows us to increase programming work in education and youth development that benefits 4,000 children and youth in the city of Minneapolis. Our goal is $2.2 million, and thanks to the generous support of a few lead donors, we have secured $840,000 in pledges. We seek to secure an additional $500,000 by July 1, 2014, allowing us to place our order for the domes in time for the domes to be installed during our slowest period, the last two weeks in August. Dome replacement, with new lights, HVAC, and electrical and environmental controls, will cost approximately $1.3 million. An additional $1 million will fund expansion of our ACE and Cities Academy programs and renovate the common areas of the facility by early autumn 2014.
Artwork created by our ACE program youth using discarded name tags with a
Thank you to our lead donors Gage Family Foundation
Robert and Jane Oberrender
Carlson Family Foundation
Ronald and Joan Cornwell
Jann Ozzello Wilcox and John Wilcox
Wheelock Whitney and Kathleen Blatz Ellen Doll and Jay Swanson EJ and Nicole McNulty Samantha Smart Merritt Will and Karen Prest David Sommer Family Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation Linda Stratton Lori and Christopher Van Holmes Amy and Alex Ware David and Lisa Weigman
Join the Effort
Get in Touch
We are excited to speak to individuals and organizations who are committed to serving our children and youth through this proven, responsive community program. With your support, InnerCity Tennis will be here to serve Minneapolis families for decades to come. Please call us to schedule a personal visit to learn more or to make a pledge.
Samantha Smart Merritt Executive Director 4005 Nicollet Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55409 (612) 655-5363 firstname.lastname@example.org
InnerCityTennis www.innercitytennis.org 14