The Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF) is a premier educational and tennis organization for underserved children, providing the best quality instruction, resources, and mentorship to build life champions. They work to give underserved kids a safe environment they trust and where they can excel. They empower their students to achieve their highest potential by developing meaningful values and critical life skills that will lead them to success.
WTEF’s mission is to keep children off city streets and engage them in productive activities that instill self-pride and discipline. They help underprivileged children improve their academic performance and make choices that enrich, rather than endanger, their lives. They also provide opportunities for children to obtain academic and athletic scholarships for college. For those not college bound, WTEF offers assistance in joining the work force and making constructive life choices.
WTEF's Tennis, Education and Community Center
For the last 20 years, WTEF’s vision has been to broaden their reach and impact the lives of DC children in need. In order to achieve this, the WTEF has built a new Tennis, Education and Community Center located in Ward 7, right in the heart of the neighborhood where these children live and go to school. This state-of-the-art $10 million facility offer increased opportunities to change the lives of underserved children. The six indoor courts, classrooms, computer lab and fitness room, plus nine outdoor tennis courts and a large community center, are accessible to their students and families during extended operating hours seven days a week, year-round. The location is a gathering place for the neighborhood, encouraging greater parent participation, increasing staff/family dialogue, engaging families in program planning and providing meeting space for community needs. The WTEF's partnerships with the local preschools, public schools and charter schools help them stretch beyond the children and families enrolled in their programs and touch the entire community.
The Arthur Ashe Children’s Program (AACP): The AACP serves children in second through eighth grades, in their communities at 24 DC Public Schools—16 elementary and eight middle schools—in Northeast and Southeast DC. Founded in 1992, the AACP provides an effective after-school program, combining academics, tennis and life skills activities to help at-risk DC youth. The AACP is held from 3:30 pm-5:30 pm four days a week, and operates in tandem with the school calendar, from early September through mid-June. The curriculum is competition-based. Students learn and practice academic and tennis skills, as well as general life skills, and then meet with other AACP school teams for three special competitions each year—the Academic Competition, Life Skills Competition (student written and produced skits on a given topic) and Tennis Championships. External studies have proven that children in the AACPhave significantly higher school promotion rates and significantly lower absence rates than students in the general school population. In 2008, theDC Public Schools imposed an intense new vetting process on all after schoolprograms. Nearly 800 programs applied for permission to operate in the schools.Due to the AACP’s past success and WTEF’s strong reputation, the DCPS askedWTEF to continue running programs in all its current schools, and to expand theAACP to several new locations.
The Center for Excellence (CFE): The Center for Excellence (CFE) is an intensive year-round academic and athletic program for students in the first through 12th grades, which meets each weekday during the academic year for three hours after school. The CFE offers students age-appropriate academic programs, mentoring and counseling, along with life skills training, tennis instruction and tennis competition. The program has produced stunning results: For 14 consecutive years, 100% of CFE seniors have gained admission to college on academic or athletic scholarships or with financial aid packages. Most of the participating children had never visited a college campus until they took field trips with WTEF. Graduates have been admitted to such renowned institutions as Morehouse, Princeton, Vanderbilt, and Williams.
WTEF has designed new programs that reach the youngest of children (ages 2-5) who will ultimately matriculate to WTEF’s AACP and CFE programs. Partnerships have already been established with Ward 7 preschools and day care programs. In addition, The SEED Public Charter School, located behind the new facility, has partnered with WTEF to provide physical education programs for its students. WTEF will offer programs for adults and seniors and coaching assistance for high school tennis teams. WTEF will continue working to develop additional programs that best meet the community’s needs.
For more information, please visit www.wtef.org
WTEF Hall of Fame
The Citi Open and the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF) and have formed the WTEF Hall of Fame Presented by Citi, which acknowledges those individuals who have served and helped grow the organization throughout its history.
Click here to learn more about the WTEF Hall of Fame and its inductees.