Austin, TX (PRWEB) June 09, 2014
Today, over 70 Austin-area Elementary School students began a five week Summer Learning Program hosted by the Andy Roddick Foundation. This inaugural program is a key component of the Foundation’s mission to expand opportunities for young people to learn, thrive and succeed. The Foundation’s work combines direct programming like this with grant-giving and partnerships with other organizations also focused on creating opportunities for young people.
On the heels of awarding seven Austin-area organizations mini grants to assist with their Summer programs, the Andy Roddick Foundation is proud today to begin a Summer Learning Program of its own. The five week program for over 70 students at Pecan Springs Early College Prep Elementary School will give kids from grades K – 5 a set of diverse experiences and opportunities, each day different, with activities such as developing a business plan to creating a claymation movie to field trips to the University of Texas, Austin Film Society and Candlelight Ranch. Of course, there will be tennis instruction and play, as well as many other sports, including time Andy Roddick will spend with the children.
“Summer should create memories of fun and new experiences and learning adventures,” said Richard Tagle, CEO, Andy Roddick Foundation. “But for millions of young people, including many right in our Austin community, Summer is a time when kids' learning skills can deteriorate. The focus of our Foundation is to expand opportunities for young people to learn, succeed and thrive. We are proud to do so through our grantees and partners, of course, but even more so through our own program that started today.”
In years past, the Andy Roddick Foundation has worked with partners including Austin Children’s Shelter and Austin Sunshine Camps to hold tennis clinics. This is the first Summer the Foundation has designed a program on its own, including scoping out the schedule and curricula, recruiting and hiring the staff, and bringing the program to the Pecan Springs Early College Prep community. The Summer Learning Program will comprise 200 hours of activities, expanding access to high quality out of school time for these Austin-area students.
Research shows that positive Out of School Time (OST) programming greatly improves the lives of underserved young people leading not only to better grades and test scores but also improved health, higher graduation rates. Especially in the Summer, where cognitive development and academic progress can be lost, programming is needed to keep kids engaged and thriving. Yet, for underserved young people, there is little public funding set aside to support the needed programming. Private funding from organizations like the Andy Roddick Foundation step in to fill the gap with a Summer Learning Program that will help participants maintain their academic skills, as well as gain new ones, better preparing them for school in the Fall.
The Andy Roddick Foundation will continue to work to increase the quality and availability of out-of-school time opportunities for young people, to help ensure all young people have endless opportunities to discover and achieve their potential. For interested grantees, the Foundation recently posted its Fall mini-grant application at http://www.arfoundation.org/getinvolved/grants.html. The Fall mini-grants will be awarded in early September with an application deadline of June 30th.
About Andy Roddick Foundation
The Andy Roddick Foundation works with its community to expand opportunities for young people to learn, thrive and succeed. The Foundation is the vision of now retired tennis professional Andy Roddick who established it in 2000. Always focused on inspiring and empowering young people, the Andy Roddick Foundation moved its headquarters to Austin, Texas in 2012. The Foundation is granting funds to partners with programs that align with a goal of closing the opportunity gap for young people living in under-resourced areas. Beyond grant making, the Foundation delivers direct service with activities like its own five-week Summer program for Elementary School students. For additional information, call 512.298.1960, follow on Twitter @theARFoundation, or visit http://www.arfoundation.org.