We're Dreaming of Empowering Kids, Families, and Communities

The holiday season is upon us, and we are celebrating our many successes this year thanks to your support of our mission. Last December, The ACE Project was awarded a $5,000 matching gift from an anonymous donor to raise the funds necessary for our 2018 season. With your help, we raised $11,250 total! That’s right, we exceeded our original goal, which made 2018 a banner year for ACE. Here’s how:

 Parent mentors join together to learn new skills that will be used inside and outside the classroom.

Parent mentors join together to learn new skills that will be used inside and outside the classroom.

  • Kid-friendly: By connecting our young ACE-ers to tennis, educational resources, and social-emotional skill building, participants have improved their reading scores, school attendance, and in-class behavior. In schools where language arts and math scores are below average, these findings are crucial! Even better: the smiles on our young ACE-ers faces continue to grow bigger and brighter each season!

  • Family-friendly: The ACE Project believes families are the backbone of individual success, so we are working to boost local parents’ leadership skills, educational experiences, and community involvement through the Parent Mentor Program. This will increase the number of qualified individuals to lead the academic enrichment, social-emotional learning, and homework assistance aspects of our program, involving more parents and caregivers in the educational process.

  • Community-friendly: Whether by joining forces with local police departments, coordinating public court renovations, or hosting community play days, The ACE Project recognizes an opportunity to unite community members from all walks of life through tennis. In 2018, we strengthened partnerships with local organizations in Riverdale/Dolton and Baltimore, creating more opportunities for residents to join our cause and work as a team.

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With so much growth made possible by your generosity, we are excited to be in position this year to raise more funds thanks to our anonymous donor and the USTA/Midwest Tennis & Education Foundation (USTA/MTEF). This December, we have a total of $8,000 to match through our Winner Wonderland campaign; yes, we have an opportunity to raise at least $16,000! A little background: the USTA/MTEF was one of our first donors in 2013; they made it possible for us to launch our initial tennis camp. According to its website, “The Foundation places emphasis on programs and activities that provide youth with a positive, fun and disciplined environment to learn the game of tennis - and create alternatives to negative recreation.” When we thought about our goals in the next year, the USTA/MTEF was an ideal partner to help make it a reality. When we asked Foundation representatives to consider a matching gift, it was practically a no-brainer; our work together is essential to the well-being of those we serve.

Though it may seem everything is in place, there is still one crucial piece we need: YOU! Yes, you are a necessary member of our team because it is your support that helps us thrive. Our goal in the next year is to continue empowering youth, families, and communities through our model toward better teamwork. By doing so, we believe that residents will inspire the solutions that progress social justice. Your donation today can mean the difference; let’s help break the cycle of poverty in these neighborhoods together!

Susan Klumpner