Aetna, USTA announce school grant program
September 6, 2011
HARTFORD, Conn. — Introducing the excitement and fun of tennis to more children across America is the goal of a new grant program offered by Aetna (NYSE: AET) and the United States Tennis Association (USTA). The new “Aetna ICON Grants” will be announced today at the ICON Awards Celebration, a marquee off-court event of the US Open. These grants will be used to help improve the health, physical activity and academic achievement of youth in diverse communities throughout the United States, through the integration of tennis, health and education curricula in after-school programs.
The grant program will be made available in each of the USTA’s 17 sections. The USTA will supply tennis equipment, tennis lines and personalized training for the teachers and coaches; Aetna will supply volunteers to conduct the education and health portions of the program; and USTA Serves, the National Charitable Foundation of the USTA, will provide the financial grant, program evaluation and oversight. Representatives from the USTA’s 17 sections will assist in disseminating materials to schools and providing ongoing program recommendations.
Schools with at least 51 percent non-white enrollment will be targeted and will not be required to currently provide a tennis program at the elementary school level, physical education or an afterschool program to be eligible for a grant. Teachers and coaches who would like to assist, will not be required to have a tennis background, but must be committed to help supervising the tennis and education program.
As a leading national health benefits company, Aetna is committed to supporting the health and well-being of the nation’s children, which is expected to be the first American generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, due largely to obesity-related disease. In working toward helping the nation’s children grow up active, healthy, and physically fit, Aetna sees great synergy in joining efforts with the USTA which is working to grow the sport of tennis and make it look like America.
More information about the grant application and award process will be available soon on usta.org.