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KCTL Announcements

Our Brand New Winter Program Begins Next Month!

Our Brand New Winter Program Begins Next Month!

Summer tennis at five public housing developments in Bed-Stuy. Check.
After-school tennis at Marcy Playground. Check.
Indoor Winter Tennis at Pratt Insitute...? Check!

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In line with our effort to make tennis available to the kids year round, we are proud to announce the establishment of a brand new Winter Tennis Season based at Pratt next month. We will continue to teach and reinforce the fundamentals of tennis, develop individual strategy on the court, and introduce specialty shots such as drop shots and lobs.

The eight-week program begins Saturday, February 4 and ends Saturday, April 1 with a day off for Presidents' Day Weekend, February 18. Six of the Saturdays will be actual tennis classes at Pratt, while the other two will be field trips to inspire unique learning opportunities, much like our past trips to Google and Made in Midtown Shoe Factory. 

Following exceptionally strong youth interest, enrollment is closed. Volunteer space remains open. If you are 16 or older and available for four or more sessions, you can register to volunteer here.

Fall After School Tennis at Marcy is a Go!

Fall After School Tennis at Marcy is a Go!

It's official; we are breaking tradition—for the better. KCTL is opening a brand new Fall After School Program at Marcy Playground, Monday through Thursday, beginning October 10 to extend engagement with our students following the Annual Jamboree Tournament. Though the lessons are based at Marcy, students from all five sites are eligible for participation. This high-intensity athletic program will give our kids the opportunity to drastically improve their tennis skills with constant play. Thank you to all of the donors and supporters who have made this initiative possible.

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Change Kids' Lives through Tennis as a Volunteer

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Change Kids' Lives through Tennis as a Volunteer

It's official: We are accepting applications from individuals aged 16+ who are ready to activate the KCTL mission: Bringing Tennis to the Kids.

Tennis skills are appreciated, but not required. Most of all, we are interested in positive attitudes and a passion for inspiring and motivating children in underserved communities.

Most of our volunteer opportunities are "on the ground"--on the tennis courts, blacktops, and playgrounds surrounding public housing developments in Bed-Stuy. This is a biweekly commitment from May 28 to October 1 at an assigned teaching site. To quality, current and prospective volunteers must complete one training session on April 16 or 23.

Additionally, we're open to meeting volunteers who can share their skills in Fundraising, Event Planning, Grant Writing, Photography, Videography, Web Design/Development, and Public Relations.

Registration

  • Complete our general volunteer signup form.

  • Register for one of two mandatory training sessions in April.

We look forward to meeting you!

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#GivingTuesday 2015: Your Gift Will Make a Difference

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#GivingTuesday 2015: Your Gift Will Make a Difference

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This Giving Tuesday, you can make a tangible difference for Kings County Tennis League. Through the end of 2015, we are looking for your support on three key goals. Read on to learn how you can be a part of our victory.

Three Goals for 2016

Establish two new sites. KCTL wants to grow its program to sixth and seventh locations in 2016. Each expansion costs $10,000 and we don't want to cut corners!

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Jackie-Robinson-team

Renovate a tennis court. We'd like to renovate one of our existing locations— a dilapidated tennis court right in the middle of Sumner Houses in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn— with a new surface and an actual net. This $20,000 renovation will ensure that children at Sumner Houses have a safe place to play and learn.

Sumner Tennis Court
Sumner Tennis Court

Educate through new, non-tennis experiences. After taking the kids to Google earlier this year, we have a trip planned to an actual sneaker factory in Manhattan, but we need your help to raise $1,000 to fund it. Students will learn how a sneaker is actually made, see what it takes to run and operate a production schedule, and explore the path to entrepreneurship.

KCTL Google
KCTL Google

Click here to make your tax-deductible contribution!

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In the Spirit of Our Fundraiser, Serving Courtside, Tell Us Why You Serve!

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In the Spirit of Our Fundraiser, Serving Courtside, Tell Us Why You Serve!

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Invitations have arrived! Serving Courtside, Kings County Tennis League's Sixth Annual Fundraiser, was officially released to the public yesterday, June 24. It's going to be held on Wednesday, September 9 at M1-5 Lounge in TriBeCa. We're excited to make this the biggest, most wonderful party yet, and we're calling on you to play a part in this victory for KCTL.

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KCTL-Serving-Courtside-Flyer-2015

Just like the event's name implies, our Annual Fundraiser is an opportunity for all of KCTL's supporters to gather together to serve--and celebrate--the program off the tennis court. If you're KCTL supporter in any capacity--parent, player, volunteer, friend or acquaintance--show off your experience with the program using #IServeBecause on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

New to KCTL, or have yet to get involved directly? Don't worry; you're not excluded from the fun. You can still check out all the posts tagged #IServeBecause to live vicariously through their authors. :)

Aside from our #IServeBecause social campaign, be sure to come back here, to our blog, for a special #IServeBecause series featuring a new KCTL supporter each week. You'll be able to learn about how our tennis-mentorship program positively impacts everyone involved at the individual level.

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Our Season Opener is This Saturday!

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Our Season Opener is This Saturday!

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It's almost time to rally at all five KCTL sites!

We'd like to extend an especially warm welcome to the new kids on the court, Jackie Robinson Tennis Club. As for everyone else--Marcy, Tompkins, Lafayette Gardens and Sumner--we're excited to have you back!

Our season begins this Saturday, May 30 at 1:00 PM; volunteers are expected to arrive by 12:00 PM. We look forward to seeing everyone then.

Parents, if you haven't yet registered your child, you can still sign up here to guarantee his or her spot.

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Fifth Site, Jackie Robinson Tennis Club, Joins KCTL

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Fifth Site, Jackie Robinson Tennis Club, Joins KCTL

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There’s a new team on the court: Jackie Robinson Tennis Club. Watch out, Marcy, Tompkins, Lafayette Gardens and Sumner; you’ve got new competition in this year’s Jamboree!

Joining KCTL as the program’s fifth team, Jackie Robinson Tennis Club will serve the youth residents of Bed-Stuy’s Breevort Houses – literally in their backyard – at Jackie Robinson Park (341 Malcolm X Blvd). A NYC Parks Department facility, Jackie Robinson Park hosts four hard-surface tennis courts in excellent condition. The site’s youth athletes will represent their team in gray jerseys designed to resemble the Brooklyn Dodgers uniform worn by the park’s namesake.

Jackie Robinson Tennis Club is KCTL’s first site addition in three years; previously, Sumner Tennis Club, established in 2012, was the newest team. Located in southern Bed-Stuy a considerable distance from the other four teams’ sites, Jackie Robinson and the Brevoort Houses symbolize great progress in KCTL’s vision of all kids in Brooklyn enjoying regular access to tennis.

If you are the parent of a child living in the Brevoort Houses and would like to enroll your child in our weekly tennis program, please fill out our signup form.

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Pre-Season Volunteer Socials

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Pre-Season Volunteer Socials

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We’re still more than 12 weeks (and 50 degrees Fahrenheit!) away from our tennis season, but we’ve already heard from many of you about volunteering.

As a warm welcome our newcomers—and to provide fun opportunities for returning volunteers to catch up with KCTL—we’ve planned several unique social events in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Big thanks to all who came out to our tennis and pizza event at Prospect Park Tennis Center on Saturday, February, 28! Below, you’ll see everything else that’s happening.

Please RSVP to all events on Meetup or by email to social@kingscountytennisleague.org.

Coffee Cupping at Blue Bottle Coffee
Saturday, March 7 (Tomorrow!) at 11:45 AM
450 West 15th Street, Manhattan
Experience a professionally-guided tasting of various coffee flavors in Chelsea.

Tennis at Prospect Park Tennis Center
Saturday, March 14 at 6:00 PM
50 Parkside Avenue, Brooklyn
Enjoy one hour of play for $5/participant, followed by tacos, quesadillas and burritos at El Acuario (Five-star Yelp rating!) around the corner from the tennis center.

Brunch at Michael McCasland’s Apartment
Sunday, March 22 at 1:00 PM
50 Greene Avenue, Apt 4F, Brooklyn
Mix a little bit of breakfast with a little bit of lunch with us!

Ping Pong Happy Hour at t.b.d. Brooklyn
Wednesday, April 1 at 7:00 PM
224 Franklin Street, Brooklyn
Because the only thing better than tennis is table tennis.

Bowling at Brooklyn Bowl
Sunday, April 12 at 1:45 PM
61 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn
We’re covering 90 minutes of play, including shoes, for $10/participant.

Season Kickoff Dinner at Meredith Brown’s Apartment
Tuesday, April 28 at 7:00 PM
135 Meserole Street, Apt 3, Brooklyn
Eat and have fun as we head into the final month before the season starts.

If you are interested in volunteering, but haven’t told us yet, we’d love to hear from you.

Please keep an eye on all of our Facebook, Twitter & Meetup pages for changes or additions to our social calendar.

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Meet Meredith Brown, Director of Programming

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Meet Meredith Brown, Director of Programming

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Kings County Tennis League is proud to introduce its first Director of Programming, Meredith Brown. Previously Site Leader at Lafayette Gardens, Meredith has just been appointed to this newly created position, which oversees tennis at all sites.

Meredith grew up in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, PA, where she learned to play tennis from her father at a very early age. While a student at Mount Lebanon High School, Meredith earned a spot on the Varsity Girls’ Tennis Team as a freshman and participated in USTA tournaments on the weekends.

After high school, Meredith was recruited to play Women’s Tennis at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio—a team that made it to the National Championships twice during her four-year tenure. She played both doubles and singles, and her fondest memories are of the bond she felt with her teammates as Captain: “We did everything as a team. We had a designated spot in the library to study and spent most weekends on the road traveling to matches."

Meredith is a USPTA-certified coach has a Master’s Degree from Pratt University in Library Science and Information Services with a specialization in Children's Literacy. She lives in Bushwick with two roommates and a dog.

We sat down with Meredith for a brief Q&A to learn about her new role at KCTL:

Congratulations on becoming our first Director of Programming! Can you explain your primary responsibilities in this position?

I will design the class curriculum each year, and then recruit volunteers and staff to execute this curriculum. Look for me during classes; I will be traveling from site to site on my bike to make sure everything runs smoothly.

How and why did you get involved in KCTL?

When I moved to New York, I was surprised to learn that adults and children need to pay for a permit to play tennis. So, when I discovered KCTL on social media and Indeed.com, I knew I had to be part of a program that uses free space to teach tennis. It’s especially exciting that the kids can practice any time they’d like at the newly renovated Marcy court, where no permit is necessary.

What was your biggest accomplishment as Lafayette Gardens Site Leader in 2014?

I worked with our Site Coordinator, Candice, and our amazing volunteers to help the kids understand that they were part of a team. We saw many kids’ attitudes transform from apathetic to excited about tennis. And really what more can you ask for but enthusiasm and a fun atmosphere? I also succeeded in implementing games and drills applicable to our youngest students (ages five and six).

What would you like to accomplish this season as Director of Programming?

I have four major objectives: 1. Make sure students of every age group feel comfortable; 2. Include more games in our classes because they help kids improve at the sport without realizing it; 3. Reinforce the importance of off-court talks through weekly themes that connect these discussions with our tennis lessons; and 4. Encourage stronger parent involvement with a few successful family days.

One of your biggest responsibilities is recruiting and managing volunteers. What are the most important personality traits for KCTL volunteers?

Volunteers need to be friendly and confident. Kids appreciate adults who are truthful and act like themselves, but can easily spot when one acts fake or tries too hard. I especially like volunteers who come consistently and are willing to contribute no matter the task at hand. Volunteers do not need to know much about tennis, but should have some experience talking to kids.

You'll also manage our Site Leaders and Site Coordinators. What are your expectations for them?

Site Managers direct the tennis curriculum execution, student/volunteer punctuality and class equipment. No matter the turnout of students and volunteers, they keep the energy upbeat and positive. Site Coordinators take on more of an organizational role with attendance, nametags and note taking during class. They also run off-court discussions in which topics cover everything from government to geography to nutrition.

What are you most excited about for the 2015 season?

To be interacting with kids at all the sites!

What do you see as the biggest challenges for the upcoming season?

It will be difficult to fit all of my plans into a condensed season. We are starting May 30th and ending September 26—making this season four weeks shorter than the last. I want to get to every tennis stroke and offer the kids time for serious match play.

What is your long-term vision for KCTL's Programming?

I’d like to see higher attendance for the volunteers and the students. And, eventually, I’d like to divide each site according to skill level and age group to more effectively mentor our students.

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Media Alert: KCTL to Cut Ribbon on Newly Renovated Tennis Court

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Media Alert: KCTL to Cut Ribbon on Newly Renovated Tennis Court

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Kings County Tennis League to Cut Ribbon on Newly Renovated Marcy Playground Tennis Court
Councilmember Robert Cornegy to join re-opening of popular Bed-Stuy tennis court

BROOKLYN – The Kings County Tennis League (KCTL), a non-profit mentorship program that builds community through tennis, will re-open the Marcy Playground tennis court after an extensive renovation and beautification project. Councilmember Robert Cornegy will join KCTL, youth athletes and volunteers at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

WHAT: Ribbon-Cutting Re-Opening Ceremony for Marcy Playground Tennis Court. Press conference including Q&A.

WHO: KCTL board members, mentor volunteers, community leaders, including Councilmember Robert Cornegy, youth athletes and their families.

WHEN: Saturday, June 21, 2014
12:00 pm - Reception
12:15 pm - Comments by KCTL board, Councilmember Cornegy, youth athletes
12:30 pm - Ribbon Cutting
12:35 pm - Q&A

WHERE: Marcy Playground Tennis Court
735 Myrtle Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

About KCTL
With the mission of bringing tennis to the kids of Brooklyn, KCTL offers free, two-hour tennis lessons with mentors on Saturdays from May through October for children, ages five to 15, who live in low-income, public housing projects. Formed in 2010 as the Marcy Tennis Club, we’ve since expanded to four different housing locations (Marcy, Tompkins, Lafayette Gardens and Sumner Houses) and now serve more than 120 youths. KCTL, and our roster of over 45 dedicated volunteers, firmly believe that tennis is an effective means to provide mentorship and build community. To join, volunteer, donate or get more information, go to http://www.kingscountytennisleague.org.

For more information, contact:
Michael McCasland, KCTL Founder and President
michael@kingscountytennisleague.org, 202-359-9534

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KCTL Introduces New Mentoring Tool: Off-Court Talks

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KCTL Introduces New Mentoring Tool: Off-Court Talks

For the 2014 season, KCTL is proud to introduce a new, formalized mentoring component to weekly classes: off-court educational discussions.

As mentors, our volunteers do more than teach the fundamentals of groundstrokes, volleys and footwork. While coaching and playing tennis with the kids is certainly valuable--and lots of fun!--KCTL’s first priority has always been youth development. With that in mind, we’re going to make mentoring a bigger focus this season through meaningful conversations, aka off-court talks. 

Held during water breaks in small groups of three to five, off-court talks are volunteer-led, open discussions to inspire knowledge, critical thinking and positive communication for our students. Each weekly talk addresses a scheduled topic made appropriate for the group’s age level, and all students are encouraged to share their opinions. Throughout the season, we'll be covering topics such as Peer Pressure, Time Management, Family Values, Sportsmanship and more!

We look forward to bringing additional educational value to kids this season through the tool of conversation. Check back each week to see what we covered in our discussions. You just might learn something, too!

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Volunteer Social Events/Training in Brooklyn and Manhattan

We're holding several social events throughout April for everyone interested in being a part of the program--on and off the court--to meet each other and learn more about the program. We're gearing up for an amazing season this year and we want you to be a part of it! Come out and say hello!

For the latest news on volunteer socials, follow us on Meet-Up, Facebook and/or Twitter.

Upcoming Events:

Tasty Eats at Klimat
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Klimat Lounge
77 East 7th Street, New York
We'll be downstairs. Look for the KCTL shirts.

Pizza and Pints at Brooklyn Brewery
Sunday, April 6, 2014
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Brooklyn Brewery
79 N 11th St, Brooklyn
Look for the KCTL T-Shirts

Indoor Tennis at Prospect Park
Saturday, April 12, 2014
6:30 PM to 8:15 PM
Prospect Park Tennis Center
50 Parkside Avenue, Brooklyn
Free court time from 7pm - 8pm

On-Court Volunteer Training
Saturdays, April 19 and April 26, 2014
12:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Tennis Court at Marcy Playground
753 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn

For new and old volunteers: Come join us on, meet other volunteers, learn more about the program and get a refresher on tennis basics and teaching tennis to kids. Lunch will be provided.Volunteers only need to attend one training meeting. However, feel free to attend both! If you can’t attend either training, please email us and let us know. First class with the kids is Saturday, May 3rd!

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Volunteer in 2014 with KCTL!

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Volunteer in 2014 with KCTL!

There may be inches of snow on the ground, but at KCTL, we're counting down the days until we can hit the tennis court! If you're interested in joining the KCTL volunteer crew, please do! We're always looking for more dedicated and enthusiastic individuals to help us on the court and off. People of all ages, backgrounds and tennis levels are welcome to participate!

Sign-up on our Volunteer page. And we'll keep you updated on upcoming volunteer training dates in April (for on-court volunteers). If you want to help behind the scenes, complete the form on the Volunteer page and a KCTL representative will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

And if you have up to 15 hours to spare each week, KCTL is also currently hiring a PT Administrative Fellow to help with the program's logistics. You can view more details on our Jobs page.

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