ACE (Academic Creative Engagement):
Academic Creative Engagement (ACE) is our out-of-school academic curriculum connected to 21stCentury Skills, National and Core State Standards and the sport of tennis. It is designed to encourage academic achievement, health/wellness and social/emotional skills by guiding children through educational processes that include decision making, problem solving and working together toward common goals. When combined with a tennis program, it provides important developmental assets and reflects the ideals and principles of Arthur Ashe by giving children access to a safe, healthy and educational opportunity. It can easily operate in partnership with schools, community centers, governmental programs, universities and other after-school providers. The lessons support classroom instruction and encourage students to communicate. Schools are mandated in preparing children for specific school and state assessments; whereas an out-of-school program provides the chance to talk about learning –the importance of thinking, discussing math concepts, writing clearly and speaking well. The activities contained in ACE provide a platform from which this goal can be reached.
The ACE curriculum consists of 50 activities to motivate and prepare students for success both in school and on court. It includes additional activities to stimulate thinking and writing for the Arthur Ashe Essay Contest. The curriculum is designed for grades 3 through 5; however, it can easily be differentiated to engage additional ages and grade levels. The lessons are created to be supportive, engaging and experiential in nature. They are guided by academic standards developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and support the Core Curriculum State Standards.
Cooperative learning is encouraged to help children think about what they can do to build a respectful, emotional climate on and off the court. Hands-on projects give children the opportunity to interpret their ideas and demonstrate their knowledge.
All literacy activities are coupled with a mentor text. The texts include children’s literature, poetry and informational materials. Comprehension, connections, vocabulary and listening skills are explored through reading aloud and discussion opportunities. Collaborative discussions deepen thinking and help students express opinions while respecting the opinions of others. Visual displays are created in several activities to make student’s thinking visible and clear
If you have any questions about the ACE Program, please contact Steve Duncan, ACE Sales & Marketing Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NJTL of Trenton is considered a First Serve life skills chapter with USTA. It participates in the National Student Athletic Competition portion of the program with its Ashe Elite players. Report card grades & tournament results determine points earned throughout the year. The winners can earn up to a $1,000 scholarship from NJTLT and a chance to win $5,000 in college scholarship funds from the USTA.
NJTLT incorporates technology (iPads & lap top computers) into many our initiatives. Not only does it enhance and differentiate our existing programs, but it provides exciting opportunities for Trenton youth who may have little access to computer technology in their school system or at home. It supports the academic, tennis and nutritional education components by adding a “traveling” computer literacy program. This is accomplished by using laptop computers with age-appropriate software packages, computer hardware peripherals and related supplies. This unique initiative has enabled our Chapter to bring academic tutoring and mentoring skills to our participants in the classroom and at the tennis courts on a year-round basis. The summer camp program utilizes technology in the ACE program to engage the youth in logical and critical-thinking skills; making learning fun while enhancing their computer literacy and thinking skills. iPad’s were purchased through a grant provided by the NJ Office of Faith Based Initiatives – THANK YOU!
The NJTL of Trenton provides academic tutoring for those who need help with homework or test preparation. Volunteers and certified teachers are available for support. In addition, computers are available for those who do not have access to technology.
Pre-School Academic Creative Engagement (PACE):
PACE is a collection of activities most suitable for children between the ages of four and six. Our goal is to stimulate and build upon a younger child’s curiosity and sense of wonder. Many activities promote physical and emotional growth through movement and play. We encourage the development of coordination, concentration, and self-expression through art projects. Literacy and mathematical concepts are explored through active, hands-on learning including organizing and manipulating materials.
PACE activities were developed around the needs of the children and around enriching content. It is important to consider the needs of your particular group. Choose activities that suit their interests and abilities. Which children are able to use materials independently? Are there challenges for children acquiring English? The abilities of children in this age range vary greatly. Some projects may be too advanced for a four year old and require more adult support than a six year old. These are decisions that need to be made by reflective, thoughtful instructors.
We believe it is most important that all activities take place in a warm, welcoming, learning community. To maximize learning, children will be sharing ideas and creations consistently. This deeper thinking requires a climate where each child is known and accepted. They belong. For example, this sense of belonging and community may be taught daily through circle time, sharing materials, taking turns, and by learning and using each other’s names. PACE supports this by providing instructors with a predictable structure for each activity, and reflection questions which can be discussed at various points in the activity or later in a circle or team meeting.
PACE activities were designed to instill feelings of confidence and maximize participation. Activities are inspired by mentor texts that are engaging and fun! Projects use basic supplies, are process oriented, and invite children to explore and create. PACE activities can be repeated and easily expanded to meet the needs of your children. A brief assessment form was written to help you record the successes of the children and track growth. It may be used as a pre-assessment and post assessment at the completion of your program schedule.