First Tee trainer Craig Wood gives educators an overview of the First Tee School Program.
First Tee – West Virginia, which offers character education, lessons on healthy life habits and golf instruction, is announcing the expansion of its school-based program in Logan County elementary and middle schools.
“This $42,000 investment will allow the program to enter all 11 elementary schools and three middle schools in the county. This is the first time our program has been in free-standing middle schools in West Virginia,” said First-Tee West Virginia Director Jeff Preast.
Teachers representing all 13 Logan County elementary and middle schools posed in front of their sponsor banners and equipment carriers.
This First Tee School Program offering is a partnership between the Logan County Board of Education, the Logan County Charitable and Educational Foundation and the Michelle Grimmett family, in conjunction with First-Tee West Virginia and the West Virginia Golf Association (WVGA). The training sponsors include Ace Trucking, Inc., Logan Regional Medical Center, Marshall Surgery, Mayo Manufacturing Company, Inc. and Omega Commercial Interiors.
“This program teaches character education and introduces the game of golf to our communities’ youth,” Preast said. “We are excited for Logan County elementary and middle schools to join over 150 additional schools across the State of West Virginia and thousands of schools nationally which teach the program.”
Teachers from throughout Logan County got specific teaching tips from First Tee trainer Craig Wood.
Alex Perry, the gym teacher at Holden Central Elementary School, said, “I am glad that the First Tee program is coming to our school because the area that I teach in, the children are not exposed to a program like this, and I think this will give them something that they can play for the rest of their life.”
The nine core values taught are honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment. The nine healthy habits promoted by the program are energy, play, safety, vision, mind, family, friends, school and community.
“The greatest learning that happens in any classroom is for students to learn resilience and character,” said Logan County Assistant Superintendent of Schools Darlene Dingess-Adkins. “The First Tee program does both.”
“This program is making a significant and profound impact on our youth in the communities this program serves,” according to West Virginia Golf Association Executive Director Brad Ullman. “We sincerely could not do this without the significant financial support from the Logan County Schools, Logan County Charitable and Educational Foundation and Jim and Michelle Grimmett.”
The Logan County Charitable and Educational Foundation is sponsoring First Tee in the middle schools.
“We did a community grant for the First Tee program to put the program into our three middle schools. The County had funded the rest of the program and an individual funded one of the programs, so we wanted to carry it into the middle schools,” said Wilma Zigmond, president of the Logan County Charitable and Educational Foundation. “We made the commitment because, not only is golf a life-long skill that you can pick up today and you can wait 10 years and pick back up a golf club, but you’re going to have a skill you can do the rest of your life, number one. Number two, golf is not just a fun sport. It can be a business sport; there’s a lot of decisions made on a golf course. It can be a confidence builder if you get to be a good golfer. But the main thing about this First Tee program is the character education that goes along with it, and our students need that so badly. We need to know about setting goals. We need to know about being gentlemen and gentleladies. We need to know that we can do whatever we choose to do in life and golf just shows us one other route to get there.”
This teacher from Man Elementary School is holding the banner from sponsor Michelle Grimmett.
For more information on the First Tee program, please visit wvga.org.
Each school will receive at least one of these equipment carriers which contain small, medium and large wedges and putters, soft (tennis-like) balls and ball nets, tees, a tee mat, a flag target, spare flagstick holders, rectangle target and bullseye target.