Our priority is that the Scholar Athletes have access to quality instruction both "on and off" the court, as well as the necessary equipment to make them successful in their academic and athletic pursuits.
Portland After School Tennis & Education (PAST&E) is a nonprofit whose mission is to create partnerships with families, schools, and volunteers to help at-risk K-12 students achieve academic and athletic success. We accomplish this through one-on-one academic tutoring, tennis lessons, a nutrition/fitness curriculum, parent education, and a “Best in Class” development program serving junior players who excel at tennis. Founded in 1996 as an extended-learning program to introduce low-income children to tennis, we incorporated an educational component in 2007 to deliver a higher-impact experience. Through our extended-learning, summer, and enrichment programs, we impacted the lives of more than 1,000 at-risk children and their families in 2014 and have served more than 9,000 over time.
THE NEED FOR PAST&E
Portland Public Schools recently reported that only 67% of students graduate from high school in four years, with many failing to get their diplomas. Gang activity is also on the rise in North and Northeast Portland, with minority and at-risk students particularly impacted. To address these alarming trends, PAST&E delivers proven athletic and academic services that foster self-sufficiency and help participants develop the skills and confidence to succeed in school and beyond. Our focus on parent education and citizen engagement also promotes healthier lifestyles for families and the broader community.
PAST&E delivers its year-round, tuition-free program to children who qualify for the federal Free & Reduced Lunch program--an indicator of low household income. Children attend the program 640 hours during the school year and 280 hours in summer, developing the academic, athletic, and life skills they need to reach their potential.
PAST&E has a nineteen-year record of success delivering services that significantly impact the lives of at-risk children and their families. Of the 35 PAST&E High School Tennis Academy members, 34 graduated from high school and are currently attending college, one is currently a senior at Benson High School. The USTA/National Junior Tennis & Learning network ranked PAST&E as a “Best in Class” program for the quality and impact of our low-cost tennis, education, and life-skills programming. PAST&E is recognized as one of the top National Junior Tennis & Learning Chapters of the over 600 chapters in the country. PAST&E participants regularly receive scholarships and class honors for good behavior and academic progress. Our presence at the St. Johns Racquet Center has revitalized our North Portland neighborhood and made PAST&E an indispensable community resource.
PAST&E Scholar Athletes:
- Receive one-on-one academic tutoring in the form of an individualized program to increase their reading, writing, and math skills.
- Receive tennis instruction by Certified USPTA Tennis Professionals and access to competitive tennis through USTA JTT League and Junior Tournaments (for those ready for that level of play).
- Experience fitness, health and nutritional programs under the direction of a Certified Fitness Instructor and Registered Nurse, who track the Fitness, Health and Nutrition Curriculum (PAST&E is enrolled in First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” Campaign and President Obama’s Fitness Challenge).
- Receive First Serve Life Skills instruction through National Junior Tennis and Learning and will be expected to graduate from all three levels (Game, Set, and Match) before they enter high school.
- Participate in a daily “peace circle” with all scholar athletes, learning through daily activity and community service projects the importance of peace at PAST&E, at school, at home, and in our community and world.
- With their parents/guardians, attend monthly family meetings that focus on parent education, assistance, and advocacy.
- Participate in weekly enrichment activities that include team building and encourage student creativity, such as PAST&E Science Club, PAST&E Music Club, and PAST&E Fitness Dance Club.