Arthur Ashe Children’s Program
The Arthur Ashe Children’s Program (AACP) serves children in second through eighth grades, in their communities at 24 DC Public Schools—16 elementary and eight middle schools—in Northeast and Southeast DC. Founded in 1992, the AACP provides an effective after-school program, combining academics, tennis and life skills activities to help at-risk DC youth. The AACP is held from 3:30 pm-5:30 pm four days a week, and operates in tandem with the school calendar, from early September through mid-June. The curriculum is competition-based. Students learn and practice academic and tennis skills, as well as general life skills, and then meet with other AACP school teams for three special competitions each year—the Academic Competition, Life Skills Competition (student written and produced skits on a given topic) and Tennis Championships. External studies have proven that children in the AACP have significantly higher school promotion rates and significantly lower absence rates than students in the general school population. In 2008, the DC Public Schools imposed an intense new vetting process on all after school programs. Nearly 800 programs applied for permission to operate in the schools. Due to the AACP’s past success and WTEF’s strong reputation, the DCPS asked WTEF to continue running programs in all its current schools, and to expand the AACP to several new locations.