An insight into the special feeling created by the Prince George’s County Police Athletic League partnership with JTCC:
Pure joy is a spontaneous and unscripted moment that one can only hope to experience at least once in their lifetime. Walking into the 3rd building at JTCC on a recent Sunday afternoon was one of those times.
The scene unfolded with laughing and screaming from a throng of elementary school children and police officers. Their smiles were infectious with grins from ear to ear as tennis balls were flying across the net.
This all came to fruition with an idea from JTCC’s Ajay Pant, who wanted to find another way for JTCC to incorporate tennis into the local community. He reached out to Corporals Jaron Black and Kurt Schnitzenbaumer (police officers from Prince George’s County) who were more than eager to put a plan in motion. Black and Schnitzenbaumer are part of Police Athletic League’s juvenile crime prevention program designed to create trust and understanding between law enforcement and youth.
The officers visited Paint Branch Elementary School where they held impromptu tennis clinics with the 3rd graders there. The officers chose eight of these students to train with the esteemed coaches at JTCC.
Olivia Janowicz (JTCC Development and Community Outreach Manager) and Arthur Jackson took charge and led the children through a series of clinics teaching them the fundamentals of tennis.
The children graduated on March 12 and celebrated in grand fashion with their families and members of the Prince Georges Police Department. The festivities included music, food and of course, tennis.
The officers stated that it is “great to interact with children” and one their goals would be for the children to “earn a scholarship playing tennis”.
The children will now have the opportunity to participate in nine further weeks of tennis programming at JTCC as they continue to develop their new found skills.