April 21, 2021 Newsletter

A Letter from the Executive Director

Dear SPUT Community,

Thank you for staying strong with us during these high tension times. The sun shines a little brighter today as a decision was announced yesterday regarding the Chauvin trial.  While a step towards justice was made, there is still a lot of work to be done to close the gap on the injustice that our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) face on a daily basis. 

Yesterday evening Saint Paul Urban Tennis held an internal meeting with our high school youth to process everything that has been happening in the world relating to the Chauvin trial, the killing of Daunte Wright, and the Asian hate crimes since the pandemic. It was an inspiring session for SPUT to see our very own young leaders discuss and share their thoughts and feelings about these important issues. While we cannot change what happened yesterday or today, we can certainly “strengthen our community by empowering our youth to realize their full potential” by holding spaces for these types of conversations and shared thinking. We are incredibly proud of their leadership.

In May 2021, SPUT will release its marketing and program strategy around the social justice work developed since 2020. While we are not a social justice organization, we know that to make our communities stronger, we ALL need to make time to listen, learn, and initiate the change that is needed. 

I hope this email finds you safe and well.

Song Thao, Executive Director

2021 SPUT Golf Classic 

Saint Paul Urban Tennis is celebrating 30 years of teaching and mentoring thousands of youth in our tennis, life skills, leadership and employment programs. Please support our kids by joining us for the 2021 SPUT Golf Classic fundraiser on Monday, June 7 at Keller Golf Course.

SPUT Summer Programming

Join us for a summer of SPUT tennis, leadership development, and fun! We offer daytime lessons, half-day camps, and youth competition programming. Kids will learn tennis or improve their tennis game while developing leadership skills through our SPUT S.P.I.R.I.T. (service, perseverance, integrity, responsibility, imagination, teamwork) curriculum.

New Summer Classes for Youth

Due to high demand, SPUT has added summer evening lessons and high performance lessons for youth. Our evening lessons will be offered on Mondays and Wednesdays at Mattocks Park and Tuesdays and Thursdays at Carty Park. High performance lessons will be offered Monday through Thursday at Harding High School. We recommend that players only register if they have previous tennis experience and can maintain a rally.

Buy a SPUT S.P.I.R.I.T. Candle for Mother’s Day!

The SPUT Store is selling SPUT S.P.I.R.I.T. candles for Mother’s Day! Cranberry Mango, European Lilac and Sea Glass scents are available for purchase. The SPUT Store began as an initiative by Saint Paul Urban Tennis to teach young people about small business development. The store features products developed by Warrior Leadership Academy participants in partnership with community businesses. Support our youth entrepreneurs!

SPUT Programming Updates

Community Engagement

Our Community Engagement spring programming started on April 19 with Rec Check, a Saint Paul Parks and Recreation after school program. The program ensures all young people have access to SPUT tennis–we bring our camps, clinics, and lessons to schools, recreation centers, and community partners across the city. Our Community Engagement programs give kids a chance to try tennis, have fun with other kids, and connect with positive role models in our coaches.

Employment PLUS

With SPUT’s spring and summer programming seasons coming up, our Employment PLUS (EP) high school students are excited to help coach our youth lesson programs, middle school boys team, and Community Engagement program. EP students are also participating in a mentorship program to plan their next steps after graduating from high school. Mentors will be helping our EP youth with resume building, interview preparation,
and networking.

SPUT Alumni

SPUT hosted a second workshop on March 23 to help our alumni launch as leaders in their transition from school to career! Jeff Cahn, Investment Analyst and Director of Research at Securian Financial Services, led a financial literacy presentation and discussion. SPUT Alumni learned about the various investment vehicles, the power of compounding interest, and IRA and SEP account options.

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