Lobs & Lessons is a youth enrichment program that strengthens life skills, promotes academics and creates a path to higher education through the sport of tennis.
Five core values of the program include:
- Getting along with others
- Regulating emotion
- Being coachable
- Practicing healthy habits
- Learning the sport of tennis
This is accomplished through after-school and summer enrichment programs at the Mary and Frances Youth Center on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. Lobs & Lessons is a member of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and is a National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapter. There are a total of 592 NJTL chapters in the nation. Lobs & Lessons offers First Serve Life Skills and Academic Creative Engagement curriculum.
Lobs & Lessons was named the 2010 Community Program of the Year for the Young Aces Open and 2011 NJTL Chapter of the Year by the USTA.
Lobs & Lessons began in the in the fall of 2004 with the mission of reaching out to underserved youth in the community. Lobs & Lessons began as a small pilot program with 40 children from the William Byrd Community House. Lobs & Lessons continues to work with the WBCH, as well as other community partners in the greater Richmond area. The program serves up to 50 youth a day, five days per week in afterschool programming. In addition, full-day summer camps are offered for 4 weeks and serve up to 32 youth per week. Afterschool snacks and summer lunches are generously provided by FeedMore through the Kids Cafe program.
Participants come to the Mary and Frances Youth Center on selected days during the week. Some community partners bring youth once a week, while others attend twice a week. Students in the program participate on and off the court during their time at Lobs & Lessons.