TENNISWORKS IS THE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT CONTINUUM AT THE HEART OF Our objective to INSPIRe YOUTH TO THRIVE ON AND OFF THE COURT.

Like our founder, Fred Wells, we believe that the tennis court can be the site of powerful life lessons.  That's why tennis is at the heart of all of our programs, and why we strive to offer access to students who might not otherwise have a chance to participate.  

We hook youth into our program with tennis, but we're really about life skills -- we want them to succeed on the courts but, more than that, we want them to succeed in life. Our vision is to empower youth to be successful on and off the court through teamwork, perseverance and discipline.

 To see how our programs address the health and safety of young people, view this video produced by our partners: Youthprise and USTA Northern!

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Our TennisWorks youth development programs reach approximately 900 youth each year in grades 3 - 12.  94% of the students who participate through our school partners qualify for the Federal free and reduced lunch program and over 90% identify as youth of color.  Through a combination of facility revenue, grants, and the generous support of individual donors, all TW programming is offered to students at no cost!

At the core of our programs is our deep commitment to provide a safe, supportive environment with caring adults who reinforce our Fort Five - Safety, Respect, Commitment, Persistence, and Kindness.  

Our Goals

TENNISWORKS PROGRAMMING IS DESIGNED TO INSPIRE YOUTH TO SEEK SUCCESS IN MANY AREAS OF THEIR LIVES—SOCIALLY, EMOTIONALLY, ACADEMICALLY AND PHYSICALLY.

We evaluate the impact of TennisWorks by measuring data on attendance, retention, and demographics, as well as the following outcomes: 

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  1. Youth have fun coming to the program. 

  2. Youth feel safe while at tennis. 

  3. Youth establish a positive, trusting relationship with an adult. 

  4. Youth set individual and team SMART goals, identify how their decisions impact their ability to achieve their goals, and recognize how their decisions affect others. 

  5. Youth develop skills in self-managing emotions, responding appropriately to disagreements and experiencing what it is like to win and lose. Youth demonstrate listening skills, consistent effort, and team problem solving. 

  6. Youth enjoy being physically active and learn how to serve, rally and score in tennis.

To judge how effective TennisWorks is in achieving these objectives, we measure the growth and development that our youth experience as they move through our programs via our own Socio-Emotional Learning (SEL) surveys and the Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA). 

For more information on TennisWorks programming or to get involved as a volunteer, please contact Christine Nickels at christine@fwtec.org or 612-252-8367, ext. 102.  

*Aspen Institute Project Play Initiative - http://youthreport.projectplay.us/the-problem