Tennis & Tutoring: 100% Better than Eating Lotion

Hi, I’m Amani, and I’m super excited to get to write a blog for T&T. As a 9th grader, I truly enjoy being a student athlete. Tennis has become a huge part of my life. What started as a fun Sunday morning activity when I was 6, has now turned into my favorite thing to do. I have been playing at a national level for about three years. I participate in tournaments often that are all around the country. Through tennis, I have faced so many challenges that have instilled new values in me. I am grateful for this sport and all the good things that have come with it. Tennis and Tutoring is an amazing program that is striving to give other kids this same experience.

When I was young, my favorite time was nap time. No, not because I got to sleep, which I would kill for now. Simply because my mom left me alone in my room giving me a chance to do whatever it was I wanted…and for 3 year old me that meant eating lotion. Now the purpose of this anecdote is not to say that I used to eat lotion. The point is that when kids are left unsupervised for too long, things tend to go awry. According to ABC News, one in five children ages 6 to 12 are regularly left without adult supervision after the school bell rings. As they develop into young adults, these adolescents require the constant counsel of those elder to them to guide them into making the right decisions. Without this advice, kids are left like a man on a tightrope…one wrong step, and their whole life could be turned upside down. As our society continues to change, it is even more vital that children have a productive place to be between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. This presents a special problem for children of under-resourced families when both parents have to work to support the family. First, we will explore the lives of kids in underprivileged communities. Then, we will discuss how Tennis and Tutoring offers an excellent place for young kids to grow.

Low socio-economic status often plays a role in juvenile delinquency, but why? Social ills are concentrated in these communities because kids aren’t guided as they need to be. A latchkey child is defined as a child who is at home without adult supervision for some part of the day, especially after school until a parent returns from work. Looking into the lives of under-served youth, we can establish that this is part of their story simply because it is imperative that both parents work. While they are out working to provide for their own families, it leaves them no time to supervise the activities of their children. This leaves room for crime, delinquency, and all the other things most parents don’t want their kids involved in. Negative influences of those around them are bound to affect them. These kids need a place to go and a community to be a part of; Tennis and Tutoring is just that. With the counsel of great teachers and coaches of the program, young kids are given the support they need.

As discussed earlier, lack of direction will often lead kids to make poor choices. This similarly applies inside homes. Due to poor decision making, if a teen has the choice to do homework or watch tv, they’d chose TV in a heartbeat. Guidance is vital in order to tell them otherwise. When homework isn’t getting done and the necessary studying isn’t happening, grades suffer. Tennis and Tutoring, however gives kids designated time to sit down and finish their work. And additionally, there are teachers to mentor the students, providing them any help they may need. Teachers help them develop into smarter and more responsible students.

Speaking of improving, it is human nature to feel good when we see ourselves accomplishing new things. The tennis aspect of this after school program gives the kids something to constantly get better at. Their development as tennis players is sure to instill confidence in them.

This organization has enhanced the lives of many kids in Utah. My project is to interview some of the families involved in T&T to gain an understanding of how the program has impacted them. By understanding their stories, we may able to see how Tennis and Tutoring has improved each of their lives.

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