Sep. 20, 2023 By Ethan Marshall
New York Junior Tennis and Learning (NYJTL) is bringing its ACES afterschool program to eight schools across Queens during the Fall 2023-24 school year. The program provides students with the opportunity to play tennis for free, as well as academic, enrichment and mental health services.
The eight schools in Queens where the NYJTL’s afterschool program will take place are P.S. 37Q Cynthia Jenkins School in Springfield Gardens, P.S. 042 R. Vernam in Arverne, P.S. 127 Aerospace Science Magnet and P.S. 148Q The Ruby G. Allen School in East Elmhurst, P.S. 147 Ronald McNair in Cambria Heights, P.S. 219 Paul Klapper in Flushing, P.S. 706 Our World Neighborhood Charter School in Astoria and I.S. 061 Leonardo Da Vinci in Corona.
This afterschool program builds upon the Summer Rising program, which provides academic support and school-based enrichment programming to underserved youths throughout the summer months. Through ACES, NYJTL serves more than 3,000 students in under-resourced neighborhoods at more than 30 schools across New York City. Additionally, ACES gives these students access to take part in city-wide tournaments.
ACES will be available at the schools each weekday from 2 to 6 p.m. For parents or guardians who want to ensure their children’s safety after school, ACES provides kids with a safe and nurturing environment.
“As one of the largest providers of afterschool programming in the city, NYJTL is thrilled to kick-off another year of ACES, and provide tennis instruction and enrichment opportunities after the school day is done,” NYJTL Chief Program Officer DJ Rouzeau said. “Rooted in character development and social learning, our services strive to provide future generations with tools they need to succeed.”
ACES is funded through the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development and New York State Education Department. The program offers a myriad of enriching opportunities for kids, including tennis instruction, academic support, healthy living, character education and multi-disciplinary activities.
NYJTL expanded its mental health counseling last year in the wake of more youths experiencing mental health concerns across the country. This expansion extended to a number of additional schools, with a full-time social worker being brought in to oversee the ACES sites. ACES’ curriculum also focuses on social and emotional learning methods in order to help the kids foster skills like self and social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making.
“Following the stark decline in students’ mental health as a result of the pandemic, we examined the ways in which we could best meet our children’s needs,” NYJTL President and CEO Udai Tambar said. “Providing mental health support allows us to recognize the needs of our students so we can be a better resource for them. We want to ensure our scholars feel comfortable coming forward about their struggles, so we can then provide potentially life-saving resources, such as counseling.”
For more information about the programming offered by NYJTL, visit their website at nyjtl.org/aces-afterschool/.