According to an outreach youth leader at Franklin Elementary, “FTSV Outreach gave us the opportunity to have impactful conversations about the core values. The early childhood education setting does not allow for these types of crucial conversations. These core value conversations and using the values in the games led to more positive behaviors in our classroom setting as well in their day-to-day lives. Our staff and the parents noticed a drastic improvement socially and emotionally with participants. First Tee’s outreach program truly has a lasting impression and has been a platform that helps the participant perform the best on and off of the golf course.”
When in-person learning was postponed due to COVID there was a void in peer-to-peer interactions. At our golf course program, we noticed a difference when we resumed in-person classes in the summer of 2021. Participants were more reserved, and hesitant to be themselves. When schools came back so did after school programs and enrichment programs. Students were back interacting face-to-face. However, social wellness through healthy communication is a skill that needs to be practiced consistently. The long hiatus prevented those skills from being practiced. When we relaunched our outreach program at 10 sites this academic year, we hoped that our games, Nine Core Values, and curriculum would help promote social and emotional wellness.
“First Tee outreach program has been incredibly fun to get off the ground again after two years of COVID,” says City Year Leader, Uma Reddy. “The program has been incredibly rewarding from start to finish. I see the greatest improvement in their respect for their peers, their awareness about safety, and in their expression of sportsmanship. I add points to their game when they show sportsmanship which allows students to get just as excited about practicing good sportsmanship as having fun and learning golf.”
Our school and community partners in East San Jose, Santa Clara, East Palo Alto, and Redwood City are currently delivering our golf and life skill curriculum at their schools with plastic clubs, velcro targets, and tennis balls. Each week the youth leaders at each school teach a core value together with a golf skill using games that promote friendly peer-to-peer interaction.
Recently our staff began hosting field trips where participants at each school leave their campus (for the first time in 2 years) and go on a group trip to our affiliate golf courses.
“Kids need to be kids,” says Program Director, Chris Moreno-Hunt. “We are thankful to work collaboratively with school partners and offer their participants a sport that is mostly new to them, games that are engaging, and a space where they can safely interact with each other.”
Are you interested in having your school or youth development program partner with First Tee – Silicon Valley. Please contact our Program Coordinator, Joe Stuban 408-508-4885, [email protected], or visit our outreach page