Sports program gives all kids a chance

Walk Tall, Talk Tall, Stand Tall. That is the philosophy of the UC Davis National Youth Sports Program - dedicated to offering youth ages 10-16 an opportunity to explore the advantages a university can offer.

The program, sponsored by the NCAA, last year ranked among the top five summer camps in the nation, and chances are it will rank even higher this year, organizers say.

Starting in late June, the month-long curriculum offers participants a variety of activities, from soccer to swimming, in addition to educational programs in math, science and drug prevention.

This year the program enrolled 405 participants from diverse cultures and different economic backgrounds. About 90 percent of the participants are required to come from low-income families. UC Davis' program serves youngsters in Yolo and Solano counties.

Last month evaluator Jeannean Ryman visited UC Davis NYSP to study the overall performance and efficiency of this year's program. Ryman said participants were "a very friendly, polite and energetic group."

Overall, the program earned a perfect score, said Grace Brenneman, UC Davis NYSP secretary. Out of more than 200 similar camps in the nation, she said the program has a great chance of being No. 1 this year.

Final results will be released in November, she said.

Jose Luis Lomeli is a News Service intern.

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