Winner Wonderland: Jeremiah and Jessica
Coach Eaker is one of ACE's Site Coordinators and the physical education teacher for Washington Elementary. Coach Eaker makes sure that all children in the school have access to tennis, whether it's through her gym classes or ACE. In addition to her love for Novak Djokovic, her love for children and their well-being is unmatched! Here is her Winner Wonderland story:
I'd like to give a big shout out to Jeremiah and Jessica. Jeremiah is a 7th grader and Jessica a 6th grader here at Washington School in Riverdale, Illinois. They are both former elementary Student Council Presidents, exemplary students and athletes involved in many activities. They are also both former ACE-ers. Jeremiah has been a part of ACE since its inception here at Washington; Jessica was a part of the program during her 4th and 5th grade years. This year during our fall session, they both voluntarily decided to give back to the program they enjoyed so much and assist the coaches as new and returning athletes practiced their tennis skills and learned new games and skills.
Jeremiah's skills improve each year and as he hones his skills he wants to introduce others to the game he loves. Jessica wanted to help new players as they learned the skills they need to become great tennis players.
Their assistance was invaluable. They not only assisted in practice, but also cheerfully set up the nets, distributed and collected racquets and other equipment such as balls and beanbags. They ably demonstrated and assisted with various warm up drills and were especially helpful with first time players. They really enjoyed helping with the warmups and were always ready to help any student having difficulty.
Their absolute favorite part, however, was when we played our "knockout" game. This is when all the players are divided into 2 teams, who face each other across the net. If one team makes a successful play, that team adds more players on the court. The other team tries to make a successful play of their own and knock the other team's players off the court. They were always on opposite teams and encouraged their teammates, never getting upset when knocked out. They both especially liked it when they faced off against Coach James or Coach Eaker. They derived an inordinate amount of pleasure from knocking the coaches out! Of course the coaches rose to the challenge!
They also set a great example to our older ACE-ers, who not only learned additional skills from them, but also now look forward to volunteering themselves in the future. Sportsmanship was the buzzword that Jessica and Jeremiah stressed to all the campers. The younger players benefitted from the additional, many times one-on-one attention they received from these amazing student coaches.
Jeremiah and Jessica are both looking forward to the spring session to assist again in anyway they are needed. it's a testament to The ACE Project that former ACE-ers want to remain a part of the ACE Family and give back to the program that means so much to them. The coaches really enjoyed and valued their assistance and input. The campers benefitted from being mentored by former Washington Elementary student-campers who were once and still are a part of The ACE Project. This was definitely a win-win situation for all involved!
Don’t forget: we still need you on the ACE team to make our Winner Wonderland dreams come true! Donate before December 31, 2018, and your gift will be matched dollar for dollar. Read more here or you can donate right now!