Shared Values — a cause and an action.
Mission: StreetSquash's mission is to provide consistent, long-term and reliable support to the children, families and schools in Harlem. By exposing these children to a broad range of experiences and by maintaining the highest standards, StreetSquash aims to help each child realize his or her academic and personal potential.
About: After School: The original component of StreetSquash, the After School Program serves 180 students in 6th-12th grade from Harlem partner schools. Participants are recruited as middle schoolers and commit to four days of programming per week through high school graduation, making up teams of 20-30 boys and girls by grade. Beginning in 9th grade, the College Access & Success Program is a core component of participation. In addition, each student engages in all of the following program areas:
Academics: Academic sessions at StreetSquash focus on homework help, development of study skills and consistent work habits, and individualized academic support for each participant. StreetSquash's Academic Directors oversee student progress over the course of many years in partnership with parents, tutors, and classroom teachers, making weekly visits to partner schools to assess student performance, behavior, and their unmet educational needs.
Squash: Squash is an indoor racquet sport played all over the world, but with limited exposure in the United States. At StreetSquash, almost all students are introduced to squash for the first time when they join the program. They develop a love for the game and work hard to hone their skills through regular lessons, training sessions, and competition. By the time StreetSquashers are in high school, many are competing in regularly scheduled matches and tournaments, and a growing number of graduates are playing squash at the collegiate level with the College Squash Association.
Community Service: All StreetSquashers are required to complete at least three service-learning projects each year in order to develop an understanding of the needs of their community and the impact of serving others. Students give back in a variety of areas and are always looking for new opportunities.
Leadership: As they grow into young adults, StreetSquashers are encouraged to pursue leadership opportunities, in order to develop valuable skills for the future as well as to impact their peers and the program overall. Although not required, many students choose to engage in leadership development opportunities.
Partner Since: 2016
Founder (year established): George Polsky (1999)