HOLLA! selected as pilot program for USTA, NJTL

February 24, 2014

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) and National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) have selected HOLLA! as a pilot program in North Carolina to implement the Academic Creative Engagement (ACE) Curriculum. The curriculum will be implemented statewide through a collaboration with N.C. CAP - North Carolina Community Afterschool Programs. HOLLA! was selected among 18 sites to pilot the program.

ACE is an extended learning program that uses a math, literacy and nutrition curriculum connected to Common Core State Standards and the sport of tennis. ACE is improving outcomes and raising money for NJTL Chapters throughout the country. The program:

• Provides an engaging multicultural approach that addresses the achievement gap • Promotes social/emotional skills, health/wellness, and family involvement • Teaches problem-solving strategies on and off the tennis court

• Includes fun and relevant learning activities.

Additionally, the ACE curriculum incorporates the values of the late African-American Tennis Professional, Arthur Ashe:

Start where you are

Use what you have

Do what you can

“HOLLA! was chosen because we already have our young people involved in the sport of tennis and we have the facilities to accommodate the program,” said Alex Gaddy. Gaddy has been very instrumental in getting the HOLLA! tennis program off the ground.

Initially a part of the HOLLA! Let’s MOVE Project, the tennis program is now receiving national attention. “Our children will get what they deserve, and they deserve the best,” said Leon Gatewood, HOLLA!’s CEO. Gatewood, who was on Bowman High School’s first tennis team, mentioned that several people have asked him why HOLLA! bothered to put a tennis court in Morven? “I simply asked them if they had ever heard of Venus and Serena (Williams)? It is our duty as elders of the village to provide opportunities for our young,” he added.

Tennis classes are taught at the HOLLA! Center on Fridays at 5 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m.

Want to get involved with, or support the program? Call the HOLLA! Center at 704-851-3144 or Alex Gaddy at 704-465-1790.

HOLLA! is a 501 c 3 non-profit Community Development Corporation (CDC).