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Afterschool community programs

The Lobs & Lessons after-school program serves up to 40 youth a day, offering afterschool programming five days a week. Youth in the program are participants with one of several community partner organizations. Participants come to the center on selected days during the week, with some youth coming to the center once a week and others attending twice a week. The afterschool program gives students the opportunity to participate on and off the tennis court during their time at Lobs & Lessons.

Mission

Lobs & Lessons is a youth enrichment program that strengthens life skills, promotes academics, and creates a path to higher education through the sport of tennis.

Six Core Values of Lobs & Lessons Programming

  • Getting along with others
  • Regulating emotion
  • Being coachable
  • Practicing healthy habits
  • Learning the sport of tennis
  • Promoting college and career exploration

Impact Statements for Lobs & Lessons Programming

  • Provide civic engagement and career discovery opportunities for VCU students.
  • Explore and promote career and college pathways with youth.
  • Develop/Build a tennis pipeline for youth, families and community members.
  • Cultivate/Develop/Build social emotional learning skills in staff and youth.

Lobs & Lessons Program Staff

Roma Kankaria, Dre’mon Miller and Jamie Smoot

2019-2020 program partners

MFYC afterschool programs

After school program activities

Participants in the afterschool program receive tennis instruction in one-on-one and clinic settings and practice skills in team format play.

Lobs & Lessons utilizes the USTA’s new youth brand, Net Generation, to help youth learn to play the game and become confident while acquiring new skills. They learn about rules of the game, etiquette, sportsmanship, positive attitudes, fair play, self-esteem and how to take responsibility for choices. These life skills are integrated throughout the tennis program, and instructors routinely demonstrate how they apply to situations in all aspects of life. Cross training is also implemented, giving youth an opportunity to experience a different sport each month and understand how those skills can be applied on the court (or in tennis).

Middle school participants benefit from programming that uses the 60′ and 78′ courts with the green and yellow tennis balls. Youth participate in daily warm-up exercises, skills stations and play-based tennis games. The program helps youth develop skills to compete in matches during the middle school tennis program each spring. The program is held in partnership with Richmond Public Schools.

National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) curriculums, designed to guide youth through processes including decision making, problem solving and working together towards common goals.

Two examples are:

  • First Serve is a life skills curriculum designed to promote education and life skills through the sport of tennis. It takes at least three months to complete each of the three levels (Game, Set and Match).
  • Academic Creative Engagement (ACE) is an academic curriculum connected to the Common Core state and national standards and is designed to encourage academic achievement, health/wellness and social/emotional skills.

Lobs & Lessons utilizes a variety of curriculums and themes throughout the year for lessons. All life skill lessons include an opening discussion, two or more hands-on activities and concludes with a debrief or reflection.

  • First Serve is a life skills curriculum designed to promote education and life skills through the sport of tennis. It takes at least three months to complete each of the three levels (Game, Set and Match).
  • Academic Creative Engagement is an academic curriculum connected to the Common Core state and national standards and is designed to encourage academic achievement, health/wellness and social/emotional skills.
  • Healthy lifestyles is embedded throughout the program through physical activity, nutrition lessons and hands-on cooking.
  • College and career exploration lessons introduce participants to the VCU campus, bring in guest speakers to talk about career possibilities and how success in school now equates to success later in life.
  • Mindfulness lessons are incorporated into the program monthly through lessons on and off court emphasizing awareness, breathing, focus and activation.