Who We Serve
Portland Tennis & Education serves 70 incredibly diverse and resilient youth in kindergarten through 12th grade. Ninety-five percent of our students are youth of color and 81% are bilingual. Moreover, their parents are extremely hard workers with the vast majority working multiple jobs and/or long shifts. However, our North Portland community does face a variety of systematic challenges, including gang violence, low-performing schools, and a high poverty rate. Two-thirds of students at our neighborhood elementary and middle schools fail to meet both reading and math standards. Moreover, Roosevelt, the local high school, had only a 73% on-time graduation rate in 2017. The poverty rate in our neighborhood is also much higher than the city’s average and all of our youth come from low-income families. The students in our program face a variety of other challenges as well—limited parental education, incarcerated family members, family immigration status, and learning and physical disabilities among them.
100% of PT&E families are low-income and half fall below the poverty line.
Only 8% of PT&E family members have received a college degree.
95% of PT&E Scholar Athletes are people of color.
The systematic deficiencies are exacerbated by the barriers many of our families face. English is 83% of our parents’ second language, and 90% of our parents have limited education. These parents have shared that it can be intimidating to go into the school or speak with teachers because of these hurdles. This lack of communication often leads to parents being unaware of students’ struggles or where they need help. The need for our type of programming is even more critical after the Secretary of State’s audit of Portland Public Schools (PPS) earlier this year. The Oregon Audit Division found that “PPS does relatively poorly with African-American, Latino, and economically disadvantaged students.” The achievement gap is 53% between white and African-American students and 36% between white and Hispanic/Latino students.
Through our tight-knit community of families, staff, volunteers, teachers, and schools we help our students overcome these challenges. We work with students schools and families, in addition to providing consistent and ongoing individual support for students at PT&E. We value a strong Coach/Tutor to student ratio to achieve our educational goals. A review of studies by the Department of Education in 2001, “Evidence that Tutoring Works,” affirmed that regular, well-structured tutoring sessions significantly increase reading scores. One of the reviewed studies even found that after just nine weeks of tutoring, students’ reading comprehension improved 4.4 times the normal rate. In our 900+ hour program students receive this type of support as we have a 3:1 Scholar Athlete to Coach/Tutor ratio. Thus, with this uniquely high volume of support and with our ever stronger network of support, we create positive, substantive change in the lives of youth.