BrightSTARS -- Tennis for Me! at Greer Elementary
The initial pilot at Greer Elementary took place during the 2014/2015 school year. Two classsrooms with a total of 34 students received kid-sized equipment and the kids received limited tennis instruction to see how they would like. Well, they LOVED it! We held four classroom sessions, participated in 2015 Field Day and were asked to return for Jump Start Summer Camp in July which prepares Bright Stars for the transition to kindergarten.
A second year of the pilot started with the 2015/2016 school year for 36 Bright Stars at Greer. This second year was expanded to have 10 sessions. The sessions were used to create formal lesson plans, document the TFM approach and create a curriculum guide, so that all eight Bright Stars schools in Albemarle County would be able to incorporate TFM in the future. TFM could be easily replicated and ultimately reach all 180 Bright Stars in 11 classrooms.
Combining the FUN of QuickStart Tennis and our innovative Go Bananas for QuickStart! campaign helps combat childhood obesity and physical inactivity in kids, especially those who are disadvantaged and are the most susceptible to being or becoming overweight or obese. The sooner we get to kids, the better!
Want to be a great adult? Be a BrightSTAR!
2019/2020 School Year
Our sixth year of FUN starts again in October . . . Volunteer with us and it will make you smile too!
2018/2019 School Year
During the school year, kids received a variety of Go Bananas! cards and Go Bananas! t-shirts, bracelets, water bottles and a Go Bananas! poster. They also received sunglasses and flamingo toy. All gifts reinforce the FUN the kids have developing motor skills and social skills and learning the ABCs of tennis.
- First Session -- Bananas, Apples cards, Apples for Aces stickers and Go Bananas! bracelets
- Second Session -- Carrots, Cauliflower, Brush & Floss cards . . . and Go Bananas! t-shirts
- Third Session -- Peaches, Mangos and Milk cards
- Fourth Session -- Green Beans and Brown Rice cards
Going Bananas! for Green Beans and Brown Rice
Fall 2016 -- Year Three of BrightSTARS -- Tennis for Me! at Greer Elementary kicked off on October 5, 2016. And boy did we have FUN! Lots of tennis action four-year-old style!
First Session (Bananas) -- Please visit our Facebook page to see all the FUN photos. Click HERE.
Ms. Shelor's Class in the gym
Ms. Perkins' Class in the courtyard
Second Session (Carrots and Brush & Floss) -- It was a lovely fall day in central Virginia, so we headed outside to the blacktop. Please visit our Facebook page to see all the FUN photos. Click HERE.
Racquet Relay with the "strawberry" balls
Third Session -- (Apples, Nuts & Seeds and Milk) Rainy today, so we played inside. We can play and have FUN anywhere!!!
The Flamingo is great for balance and agility and part of the regular warmup routine we do with the kids
Tee it Up! Tennis in FUN!!!! Someone requested to have his picture taken holding his Go Bananas! cards
Red Light/Green Light is FUN too! BrightSTARS are good listeners and interested in healthy foods!
QuickStart Tennis for preschoolers is all about FUN!
Fourth Session -- (Green Beans, Brown Rice and Cauliflower) - Finally got some much-needed rain, but that kept us indoors.
Long ground rallies using forehands and backhands in the gym for the first group - Ms. Shelor's class
Red light/Green Light and lots of smiles . . .
Ms. Perkins' class warms up with the Flamingo Rally in the open space
And of course, more Go Bananas! cards
Fifth Session -- (Grapes, Watermelon and Water) We picked right up where we left off -- having a lot of FUN!
Ms. Shelor's class has the gym for 40 minutes.
Amazing how preschoolers study their Go Bananas! cards and photos of the UVa Men's Tennis Team - it's all about connecting!
Ms. Perkins' class uses open space in front of the are room and on warm days hits on the blacktop.
Sixth Session -- (Cucumbers, radishes and salads) The kids were rearing to go today! We love their enthusiasm.
Preschoolers can rally on the floor Now that's a tennis tutu!
They really liked the Go Bananas! cards they received today! BrightSTARS from last year came by
Ready to rally! Now that's an interesting catch! Love that BrightSTARS smile!
Seventh Session -- (Whole Grains, Tomatoes and Good Manners) After a three-week hiatus, BrightSTARS -- Tennis for Me! was back in action at Greer Elementary. It was a rainy day, so there was lots of pent up energy ready to be released. Coach Margaret helped them burn some off during the warm up.
Then it was time for the Puffer Ball relay and some partner-fed stop sign/pop volleys.
Eighth Session -- Beets, Beans & Broccoli
Ninth Session -- Field Day and Berries Buffett
Tenth Session -- Lean Meats, Cabbage & Sleep
Initial Go Bananas! visit with Bright Stars at Greer -- March 2015
The kids were interested in learning more about tennis and healthy foods and they gave us a thank-you note!
Equipment for Bright Stars -- April 2015
The kids were excited about the equipment and the prospects of learning to play tennis.
First "instruction" session -- April 2015
Second session -- May 2015
Third session -- May 2015 -- Field Day Warm Up
Field Day -- May 2015
We partnered with UVa Sports Promotion to get kids connected with CavMan's Crew and joined volunteers from the National Ground Intelligence Center who have been helping out with Field Day for several years. We were honored to be asked to participate. Our tennis volunteers included Dave Koehn, Voice of the Cavaliers and ardent tennis player, Alina Ackenbom, Director of Tennis at Friendship Tennis Academy, Ellen Markowitz of SuperStarters Sports, local realtor and tennis player, Jim McVay, Wen Wang, mother of QuickSTAR Vivi Hui, Elizabeth Butler who volunteers with the UVa Men's Tennis Team, Lynn Boyd, a retired Albemarle County PE teacher and Linda Perry, tennis player and QuickStart Grandma. The 34 Bright Stars were joined by 18 kids from the Head Start classroom at Greer. In addition to all the FUN tennis activities, the kids were treated to a Go Bananas! buffet of orange sections, blueberries and baby carrots. School Superintendent Pam Moran stopped by to join in the FUN too! The weather was perfect and everyone had a great time!
That's Albemarle School Superintendent Pam Moran feeding balls for stop sign volleys.
Jump Start Summer Camp -- July 2015
Enjoy your new experience in kindergarten and play lots of tennis!!!
2015/2016 School Year -- First Session -- BANANAS Day!!!
36 brand new Bright Stars are ready to start learning how to play tennis . . .
We love to see kids checking out the Go Bananas! cards
Second Session -- CARROTS Day!!!
We didn't let a little rain bother us . . . we played tennis in the PE trailer and had lots of help from volunteers from the National Ground Intelligence Center, Bright Stars teachers and Ms. Linda.
Third Session -- APPLES Day!!!
It was a beautiful fall day for tennis on the blacktop! The kids were given Apples and Suncreen Go Bananas! cards.
Fourth Session -- GREEN BEANS Day!!!
We didn't let a little drizzle stop us . . . we headed for the covered art porch!
Red Light/Green Light
Koosh Ball Pass
Concentration!!! What a perfect Go Bananas! face!
Session #5 -- Grapes, Watermelon and Water Day!!!
Many thanks to Coach Linda for helping out today!
Koosh ball racquet toss and catch
All lined up for tennis hockey
Session #6 - Radishes, Cucumbers and Tennis Ball Lettuce Day
The weather was beautiful, so we headed outside for this session. The kids are really catching on! They've mastered koosh ball pass and now can rally on the ground with a partner. In addition to Linda Perry and Barbara Watson, QCV President Alina Ackenbom helped out today. The kids enjoyed hearing about veggies and salads and learning about new tennis role models from the Go Bananas! cards.
Koosh ball toss and catch is a snap now Alina, Barbara and Linda
Tennis is for the birds -- eagles, robins, hummingbirds, flamingos, etc. (Warm-up/Cool-down activity.)
This is what a four-year-old ground rally looks like!
Session #7 - Whole Grain Pasta and Tomatoes Day
Even though April has been a little chilly, it was warm enough today to head outside to the blacktop where we did the Wacky Relay and Lobster Trap. Lots of high-fives and leg hugs too. I think they missed us. Our last session was four weeks ago.
Wacky Relay in action
Lots of flamingos around today!
Session #8 - Beans, Beets and Broccoli Day
We didn't let a few sprinkles get us down. We headed for the covered porch near the art classroom.
Frog leaps to warm up
Hug your racquet! Hug a teacher!
Lobster trap develops hand-eye coordination and cooperation
Session #9 - Tennis Field Day and the Go Bananas! Berry Buffet
We didn't let a little rain dampen our tennis spirits!
Two outside stations: Stop sign, pop volleys at targets and koosh ball toss and catch on the covered porch outside the art room
Two inside stations: Tennis hockey and lobster trap
Lots of FUN and camaraderie and of course, the Go Bananas for QuickStart! Berry Buffet
Lots of berry tasting and SMILES!!!
Many thanks to our volunteers - Pat Hanssen, Linda Perry, Margaret Rose, Aimee Chapdelaine, Maci Epstein, Mayn Francisco and Wen Wang, the Bright Stars parents who participated, QCV Board members Barbara Watson (Secretary) and Alina Ackenbom (President) and Bright Stars teachers Debbie Shelor and Alison Perkins and their staffs for making our second annual Tennis Field Day a BIG success!!!
Session #10 - Lean Meats, Cabbage and Brush & Floss Day
Finally some beautiful weather -- perfect for tennis on the blacktop.
We tried "Caterpillar" for the first time. Then we did "Tee it Up" Tennis. That was a HUGE hit!
We're really going to miss these guys! Have a great summer!
Kindergarten Kickoff Summer Camp -- July 2016 (Watermelon and Mango Day)