EPATT is a free after-school program for first- through twelfth-grade students from the low-income communities of East Palo Alto and Belle Haven. EPATT strives to create the best possible outcomes for our students through its unique mix of academic tutoring, parent education, tennis instruction, and student advocacy.
EPATT has built its reputation by partnering with parents, teachers, and tutors to help each student become his or her best self. For example, nearly 90% of our students arrive at EPATT reading below grade level. We work with teachers and tutors to devise personalized learning plans and with frequent checkpoints to track student progress. The academic staff, volunteer tutors and parents are focused on achieving the same goal: to help their student graduate from high school college and career ready, poised for a productive future.
Every week, each student receives 2-4 hours of tutoring. Volunteer tutors -- 90% are Stanford students -- work closely with EPATT staff to learn how best to address the specific needs of their “tutee”. Besides helping EPATT kids learn to read, master math and tackle other subjects, tutors also serve as positive role models and mentors. We’ve seen that having a caring adult and mentor in a child’s life can shift his/her trajectory. Additionally, research shows that trust can be an antidote to stress, which is often present in our students’ lives.
More than half of EPATT parents are first-generation Americans and may not have had access to a formal education. EPATT’s bi-lingual staff helps parents navigate the complexities of the American school system. The staff host parent workshops to ensure that they reinforce the career and college readiness skills taught in EPATT’s classrooms. Equally important, the staff spends at least 50% of their week coaching parents on how to advocate effectively for their child.
EPATT’s DNA is rooted in the sport of tennis. Daily practice gives our students a chance to be active, learn to compete and bond as a group. Ninety-four percent of students say that tennis is their favorite part of EPATT. Each week, they receive 3 hours or more of tennis instruction. EPATT uses tennis to teach important life skills like resilience, self-reliance, grit and teamwork. Students are encouraged to play on their school teams and join EPATT’s tournament team, which competes in USTA-sponsored events around the Bay Area.