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Norwalk Grassroots Tennis Serves Up Education In New Name

Norwalk Grassroots Tennis helps low-income youth.
Norwalk Grassroots Tennis helps low-income youth. Photo Credit: Tom Renner

NORWALK, Conn. -- Norwalk Grassroots Tennis and Education Inc., became the official name of one of Norwalk’s most highly acclaimed youth programs recently, reflecting more accurately the broad range of year-round free programming it provides to low-income mostly minority youth.

Originally named Norwalk Grassroots Tennis, the program was founded 21 years ago to provide Norwalk public housing youth with free tennis and a code of sportsmanship at a time when gang violence was prevalent. Since then, the program has grown responsively to better address the needs of the children and community it serves. Thus, in January 2016 the board of directors voted to change the name to Norwalk Grassroots Tennis and Education to reflect the depth and breadth of programming offered.

“NGTE has become a beacon of enlightened cutting-edge programming that addresses the whole-child, with a strong emphasis on academic skills needed both for success in school and to better compete later in Fairfield County’s highly educated workforce,” said President Caron Palder. “We annually serve 250 low-income children from across Norwalk and draw 90 dedicated volunteers from across Fairfield and other counties in Connecticut and New York. "

Enrollment is open and free to all Norwalk’s low-income youth ages 5-18. The programs are conducted after school, weekends and summers.

"The new name change now matches the scope of what we offer,” said Executive Director Chris Hulse. “We are all about kids succeeding academically as well as in sport. We hope this name change will clarify what we offer and expand our family by drawing more underserved children and volunteers to us.”

For more information on how to enroll or volunteer, contact Hulse at 203-939-1770 or chris@norwalkgrassroootstennis.org.

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