RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Starting this fall, students at three more elementary schools in Raleigh County will be introduced to the basic skills of golf along with character development and healthy habits in their physical education program. It will be taught by physical educators using safe, fun lesson plans provided in The First Tee National School Program curriculum. The health activities were recently added for students to learn about physical, social and emotional wellness. Funding for the program was provided through the Beckley Area Foundation Community Grant.
Nationwide, more than 10,000 schools in 1,400 school districts have been introduced to The First Tee National School Program. There are currently a total of 27 counties and 136 schools offering the program in West Virginia.
“We were honored to have been selected to receive the grant monies and be able to welcome and introduce more than 1,000 Raleigh County students to The First Tee of West Virginia on an annual basis,” said Brad Ullman, Executive Director of the West Virginia Golf Association. “Through a variety of programs, we are positively impacting our youth with the Nine Core Values and Nine Healthy Habits in addition to growing interest in the game of golf.”
Launched in 2004, The First Tee National School Program helps students develop an appreciation for the positive personal and social values associated with golf. Students engage in safe, fun lesson activities that lead to motor skill development all while gaining an introduction to a lifelong recreation and health-enhancing activity.
The curriculum was developed by The First Tee along with leading experts in physical education and positive youth development. It is aligned with and meets national standards developed by the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE). Physical educators delivering the program are formally trained and certified by The First Tee and use safe, developmentally-appropriate lesson plans and equipment in their classes.
The lesson plans include The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits, which were developed in partnership with the ANNIKA Foundation and Florida Hospital for Children.
According to a survey among 860 physical educators using The First Tee National School Program curriculum, 66 percent reported using The First Tee Nine Core Values—character education seamlessly delivered as part of the program—in other sports and activities, they teach beyond golf. A third-party case study conducted in one Midwestern school district in 2011 further validated the program where administrators and physical educators reported finding great value in the program.