Many USAPA ambassadors and members are familiar with the USAPA Community Grant Program. They may be less familiar or completely unaware of the USAPA High School Grant Program. The grant program goal is to introduce pickleball into the high school curriculum. The program will award a high school a startup grant of $350 in reimbursement to aid in the purchase of qualifying pickleball equipment like nets, balls and other items. Any USAPA member can sponsor a school. The grant does require a participating PE teacher or similar personnel involved the school PE school program.
The feedback has been phenomenal from high schools that have participated in the grant.These high schools range from a large special needs high school in St. Louis to a small semi-rural school in East Central, Missouri to a high school in Temecula, CA with over 3000 students.
The following is an excerpt from an evaluation of the program initiated at Palatka High School, Palatka, Florida:
THE GRANT FUNDING DID HELP START PALATKA HIGH SCHOOL’S PICKLEBALL PROGRAM IN PE CLASSES. WE WERE EXCITED TO RECEIVE THE GRANT AND WERE EVEN FEATURED PRESENTING THE EQUIPMENT PURCHASED FOR THE SCHOOL, TO THE PRINCIPAL, PE TEACHER AND TWO STUDENTS, ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER! WITH THE TWO NETS, A FEW PADDLES AND BALLS, ALONG WITH THE PADDLES DONATED BY PICKLEBALL CENTRAL, WE STARTED THE PROGRAM. WE LATER BORROWED TWO NETS FROM OUR COUNTY RECREATION DEPARTMENT WHICH THEN PROVIDED US WITH MAXIMUM STUDENT ENGAGEMENT.———–
WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SUPPLEMENT THE GROWTH IN OUR STUDENT PARTICIPATION FROM DONATIONS, BUT THE PROGRAM WAS A GREAT WAY TO GET US STARTED. WHEN THE TEACHING UNIT WAS COMPLETE THE EQUIPMENT WAS TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER HIGH SCHOOL SO THEY COULD BEGIN THEIR PROGRAM.
——-THANK YOU FOR THIS AWARD. IT WAS AN HONOR FOR PALATKA HIGH SCHOOL TO HAVE BEEN SELECTED. SINCE RECEIVING THIS AWARD WE HAVE INTRODUCED OVER 440 STUDENTS AND 15 TEACHERS TO THE SPORT OF PICKLEBALL!
JIMMI SYMONDS, PALATKA HIGH SCHOOL
So do not forget this extremely valuable opportunity that has the ability to reach an audience much sought after—-those starting to develop relationships with sports that will remain with them for life!
All the information to apply can be found on the USAPA.org website on the “Training & Court Info” menu.
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