Why it matters
Here are some reasons why your tax-deductible contribution matters:
- The game of tennis helps a young person become: both more self-aware and self-confident; more physically fit and mentally tough; more highly motivated on and off the court.
- While tennis involvement is not a panacea for urban youth, programs that combine tennis with life skills and academic tutoring have been shown to have a substantial, sustainable impact.
- Children grow up across the St. Louis area in neighborhoods isolated along racial and socioeconomic fault lines. St. Louis City’s children have historically had limited access to high quality tennis programs and facilities compared to children in St. Louis County.
- For under-served kids in urban neighborhoods with high rates of gang-related crime, violence and academic underachievement, the qualities of individual responsibility, good citizenship, inner self-confidence, and effective self-control are essential life skills.
- In St. Louis City, black children are nearly four times as likely as white children to live at or below the federal poverty line; 44% of black children live in poverty, compared to 11.8% of white children. Overall, children are more likely to live in poverty than adults or the elderly. If the rate of child poverty were equitable, there would be 11,644 fewer black children living in poverty (2017-2018 report on Children of Metropolitan St. Louis).
- Twenty-eight percent of 10-17-year old Missouri children are either overweight or obese, a strong predictor for adult obesity and ensuing health problems.
- Among children living below 100% of the federal poverty level, more than 1 in 5 (22%) had a mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
- The high school dropout rate in St. Louis City is 22.8%, with multiple high schools with dropout rates over 30% and one high school with a dropout rate as high as 42.2%.
- Public schools in St. Louis City School District have an average math proficiency score of 18% (vs. the Missouri public school average of 42%) and reading proficiency score of 23% (vs. the 49% statewide average). This district's average testing ranking is 1/10, which is in the bottom 50% of public schools in Missouri.
- St. Louis has the second-highest gunshot death rate among youth compared to other large U.S. cities, highlighting the urgent need for impactful youth development programs.
Mr. and Mrs. Donald Danforth III
Don and Susannah Danforth Family Fund of the St. Louis Community Foundation
James and Gayle Messina Charitable Fund
Lee & Janet Rodgers Charitable Fund
John Allan Love Charitable Foundation