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Wow. This weekend will be our third class with the kids this season. Time is already flying. The program is off to a tremendous start, and it's only up-hill from here! We had a solid turnout for our first class at each of the sites: Marcy, Tompkins, Lafayette Gardens and Sumner Houses. And we were surprised and excited by the number of new, eager faces that came out at Tompkins and Sumner.

The first class was mostly registration and getting-to-know each other activities, like name games, relay races and some simple tennis games. At Tompkins, we mostly emphasized keeping the kids engaged and having fun. Across all four sites, all the kids took an interest in learning the sport of tennis, even those who had never played before!

The second week's class, we were lucky that the rain held off (mostly) and we had a beautiful day. At Sumner, we started with drills to work on forehand form. Midway through class we had an group discussion about teamwork, which we followed up with teamwork games. Just as the rain was starting we got in a good loud "One, two, three, SUMNER TENNIS CLUB!" Lucky Sumner, we had a great class at Tompkins, also full of forehand work, but the falling rain made us miss out on the end of class cheer! (One of my personal favorite parts of class.) It was great to see that all the kids--new and returning--picked up the forehand surprisingly quickly.

Site coordinator, Gary, talks about the first two weeks of class: "Today was our first class, and need I say that I was very excited....I finally getting the opportunity to put all that I learned during my training, to good use and to finally get to meet our students. Getting to know everyone with the name games we used was a blast, it helped me out that's for sure! The class then proceeded with an introduction the the game/sport of tennis. The students enjoyed the drills as well as the chance to put they learned to use with the various games we played.

"We played another few rounds of name games, which again, was a blessing for me lol. Class started out as usual with our stretching exercises to help limber up the students and to prepare them for today's drills and the activities planned for them. Our first warm up exercise/drill was a gamed called "Centipede". This activity worked on footwork & speed. We then followed up with the the Penny drill and Elbow to the target drill. We proceeded to play a few rounds of a game I like to call "Outfield," where all of our students get to practice what was taught to them... hitting a forehand and working on their footwork. We barely had enough time to get our Marcy Site "Shout Out" before Mother Nature open up and the clouds and rain started pouring down.

Site coordinator, Candice, talks about the season opener: "It's been an extremely exciting time at Lafayette Gardens. Each week the sun's been out and the kids are coming from every direction of the neighborhood, explaining with pride how they participated last year or the year before that. I'm really excited about the season given we've already had an overflow of kids showing up ready to play!"

I think it's safe to say that the volunteers also had a great time getting to meet the kids. We're all looking forward to seeing the kids grow, not only in tennis but the building of their character. See you next week!

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