In the Swing of Things
New Haven youth in Squash Haven's year-round programming learn much more than how to wield a racquet.
School has been back in session for a while now, but for the New Haven students that participate in Squash Haven's programs, school never really ends.
The afterschool academic and squash organization, one of only fifteen like it across the country, has enhanced its Middle School Program, for 5th -8th graders, with the help of a Foundation multi-year grant from unrestricted funds.
Students develop skills both on and off the squash court all year round, including five weeks in the summer. They work on academic subjects for three hours a day during the summer program, in addition to training for national-level competitions (of which Squash Haven students have won 15, by the way).
As if the academic enrichment and physical activity weren't enough, one of Squash Haven's goals is to help its middle school students find placement in independent secondary and college preparatory schools and help them apply for scholarships as well. Ten students have received scholarships to independent schools so far.
"It gives us great joy to see talented, motivated, and committed New Haven young people make daily progress as Squash Haven students and athletes," says Executive Director Julie Greenwood. "The Community Foundation's support has made it possible for us to provide ongoing high-quality programming for future generations of middle school students."
Squash Haven students also commit to at least ten hours of community service each year. The program is designed to prepare New Haven youth for a future of achievement and success by giving them crucial skills for the classroom, the court, and the "real world."
Learn more about Squash Haven at giveGreater.org.
Did You Know?
Squash is played by more than 15 million people in 153 countries, but "urban squash" – the youth development model that combines the sport with an academic program – was first launched in Boston in 1996.
Source: National Urban Squash & Education Association (NUSEA)