EDITOR’S NOTE: Dan McKegney, Executive Director for The First Tee Tri-Valley, offered the space of his column to Troy Maxoutopoulis, one of his Ace level participants. Here’s a little more info about Troy:
Troy Maxoutopoulis, currently a junior at Amador Valley High School, has been a member at The First Tee of the Tri-Valley since 2005. He has completed the Eagle level of The First Tee Life Skills Experience and is working on college and career exploration in the Ace level of the program, our most distinguished group of active participants. Troy serves as a member of our chapter’s junior council and volunteers with its golf inclusion programs and participant recruitment events.
This year, there are more than 4,200 schools in almost 600 school districts across the country where kids will be introduced to the game of golf along with character education. The First Tee instructors teach kids the rules of golf, etiquette, and sportsmanship that the game demands. Through this learning journey kids learn to use nine core values: honesty, respect, judgment, responsibility, perseverance, sportsmanship, confidence, courtesy, and integrity.
According to a study conducted in 2008 by physical education teachers using the curriculum, 75 percent rated it as excellent and 23 percent as good. Of those teachers, 100 percent reported that the National School Program lessons help students learn basic golf motor skills and concepts. More than 50 percent of teachers reported a difference in behavior based on the curriculum.
In the past, the First Tee has put forth effort in trying to get kids to come to the golf course to embark on the fun journey of golf. For the first time in Pleasanton, The First Tee National School Program will be introduced at Alisal Elementary School and the game of golf will come to the kids at their school.
“(It’s a) new way to give kids access to golf in the school system,” said Joe Meunier, a physical education teacher at Alisal and Program Director of The First Tee Tri-Valley chapter. “A bonus is the health and character development they will develop which will be helpful for their future”
Alisal is the first school in the Tri-Valley area to begin this program. Meunier hopes “it is successful and will influence other schools to participate in a similar outreach.”
The goal for the program is not only to be the pilot program for the rest of the schools in the community, but to provide a positive experience and hopefully lead some new golfers to The First Tee Tri- Valley chapter to continue the sport.
Log on to www.thefirstteetrivalley.org for more information. Visit your local chapter of The First Tee to become a participant, volunteer or supporter.
First Tee Files is a rotating column featuring administrators of four Bay Area chapters of The First Tee “” Contra Costa, Oakland, San Jose and Tri-Valley. April Kenyon is the executive director for the The First Tee of Oakland. Check out your local chapter by visiting one of the following websites: www.TheFirstTeeContraCosta.org,
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