Free Boston Summer Camp Teaches Tennis, Life Lessons

By Kate Merrill, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Isabel Leong is spending her summer on the tennis courts, but her camp is offering more than drills. At Tenacity she is learning some life lessons as well.

Isabel says, “It’s a really fun camp where you play and you transition to reading and sports.”

They go from the courts to an outdoor classroom. It’s a mix that’s serving up the right balance of school and play.

Isabel says, “We are learning how to do forehands and backhands and in reading we are learning about communities.”

The whole child is the focus. Founder Ned Eames says, “We found combining reading and academic with fitness…works great together, they love doing it.”

But even more unusual is the cost: It’s free.

Ned says, “We thought it would be great to make tennis and reading and fitness available to any Boston kid who wants to do it.”

In fact, there are 25 sites serving 5,000 kids this summer alone. Tutu Ekpebor was a student from 6th grade on and now she is a counselor.

Tutu says, “Tenacity wasn’t my decision it was my mom’s. She wanted to get me out of the house stop lingering around and everything.”

The summer is important but Tenacity also has a yearlong program that helps a thousand students make it to college. Working with the school system and the city, Tenacity hopes to double that number soon. Giving kids a chance they never thought they would get.

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