ZGA offers world-class tennis instruction. Tennis is an individual and team sport that provides life lessons for players including integrity, problem-solving, poise, and communication skills. Although the program began as a way to provide free tennis instruction to young people of all demographics, tennis is used as a hook to get kids to access all of the resources that ZGA provides. ZGA has seen many alumni go to college on a tennis scholarship. This is the ultimate goal of the program – get young people an education!
ZGA offers nutrition and wellness education to all participants. Participants engage in dynamic activities that teach them how to make better food choices as kids and adults. Our goal is to give families the tools that they need to make informed decisions about their diet and lifestyle. Our goal is to ensure that every participant has a healthy relationship with food. We focus on giving participants a holistic knowledge of their entire wellness. In addition to nutrition, participants are exposed to wellness fundamentals such as mindfulness and emotional intelligence.
In conjunction with Nutrition lessons, participants expand their food knowledge in the ZGA garden. Kids get their hands dirty by planting, cultivating, and harvesting all of the plants in the garden. There is no better way to get excited about fresh, whole foods than by gardening.
We worked with General Mills and the City of Houston to create our fantastic garden which was completed in 2018. Our first planting was on February 28th, 2018. We are collaborating with Recipe for Success and Hope Farms. They are providing us with a proven, measured curriculum and support for our garden lessons. We will be working with Executive Chef Michael Gabriel to hold culinary classes using the food harvested from the garden.
ZGA wants to provide all of the tools necessary for participants to achieve their educational goals. We recently partnered with the University of Texas to provide college prep counseling support for our young people. They work with our kids to set goals and get prepared for the college search and journey. Their goal is to have every kid go to college, even if they don’t attend UT.
ACE training is another vital tool that gets participants involved in reading, math, and more! This curriculum was implemented by USTA in order to provide interactive education exercises outside of a child’s regular classroom. Nicole works with kids weekly; kids have recently been using shoe strings to create geometrical shapes.
ZGA recently began an ambassadors program. Ambassadors are leaders and mentors to all participants in the program. They endure a rigorous selection process, including a submitted essay and a formal interview. Ambassadors are given a platform to contribute to ZGA by telling ZGA staff their critiques about the program. They represent all of the players in the program in doing so.