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HFK & USF Tennis Teams Partner To Help SFUSD Elementary School Kids Achieve Their Personal Best

Oct. 29, 2010

WHAT: Harper for Kids (www.harperforkids.org), which sponsors and administers a life skills program for children based on the philosophy of iconic UCLA coach John Wooden, has added a new element by partnering with the University of San Francisco's Men's and Women's tennis teams. This innovative partnership will first bring Harper for Kids' youth life skills program, "Inch & Miles Sportsmanship Tennis Festival for Elementary Schools," to Yick Wo Alternative, Daniel Webster and McKinley Elementary Schools.

Approximately 350 children will participate. The USF tennis team players will serve as mentors, -bringing the Harper for Kids life skills program directly to the kids during their physical education classes. Structured in a fun and engaging format with interactive tennis games and drills, the youngsters will learn Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success and his message that success comes from "Making the effort, 100%, to do your best." The USF players will also put on tennis exhibitions that will give the children a look at Division I university players in action.

WHEN: October-December 2010

WHERE: Yick Wo Alternative Elementary School, Daniel Webster Elementary School and McKinley Elementary School in San Francisco.

WHO: Elementary school children

WHY: Tim Harper and Peanut Louie Harper, Harper for Kids Co-Founders:"This is a special opportunity to partner with the USF Men's and Women's tennis teams and to have their student athletes (who are top college tennis players in the nation) work side by side with our coaches to teach the children about Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success. The children will learn important life skills that will help them achieve their personal best, not only in sports but also in school and other aspects of life. We know these dedicated USF student athletes will be shining role models for these children and wonderful examples of all of the character traits on Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success."

Peter Bartlett, USF Men's Tennis Head Coach:"The USF Men's team is really excited to continue it's relationship with Harper for Kids. We feel the mission of HFK can be a life building experience for young kids and fits our program very well. The Pyramid for Success are the building blocks for children to learn how to be successful in their lives and will be helpful as they continue to strive for their personal best. We also feel this will give our student athletes a great experience working with school youth and ultimately be a very rewarding opportunity to give back and spread the message HFK has to offer."

Pablo Pires de Almeida, USF Men's Tennis Assistant Coach: "The University of San Francisco's tennis programs became involved with Harper for Kids in late 2009 as a partner in the first annual Men's Tennis Teams Battle in the Bay Classic tournament. After HFK participated in the kid's day event, we wanted to step up our efforts and really align our programs with the values and mission of HFK.

During the last year, the USF men's and woman's tennis programs have helped with local HFK kid's day festivals and worked to better figure out a way to immerse ourselves into the community by aligning with the core HFK philosophy. We feel that what we have collectively come up with will be the perfect start to this relationship. We hope to keep the mission of HFK growing throughout the Bay Area with the help of the University of San Francisco's tennis programs."

Hilary Somers, USF Women's Tennis Head Coach:"I am just so excited to partner with such a great organization, Harper for Kids. The building blocks of Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success are such a fabulous way to teach student athletes to be their best on and off the court.

I know my players are passionate about passing on what they have learned to help youth have the same positive experience they have had with tennis and academics. They are eager to share how the Pyramid of Success teaches them life lessons every day."

AUDIO/VISUAL: HFK coaching staff and USF tennis players will teach the children interactive tennis games and drills based on Coach Wooden's award-winning children's book Inch and Miles: The Journey to Success.

Harper for Kids (www.harperforkids.org), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, teaches children important skills that will empower them to achieve their personal best in life. HFK enrichment programs help children develop good character and inspire parents to be good role models and help foster a healthy community.