The First Tee of Silicon Valley has three main programs for our community’s youth:
Outreach – The way we reach more youth. By partnering with community youth organizations, such as schools and after-school programs, we are able to bring the game of golf to them.
Opportunities – Participants of our classes are offered several “Opportunities” during the year. These are life skill and golf events that frequently require applications.
The First Tee’s main curriculum is called “The Life Skills Experience.” In addition to The Life Skills Experience are several elective classes that The First Tee of Silicon Valley offers. All classes are conducted by trained instructors and are frequently assisted by volunteers.
The Life Skills Experience features incremental levels through which participants progress. All new participants begin at the PLAYer level. PLAYer through Eagle is divided into Part 1 and 2. Each level is listed below with grade requirement and education emphasis.
PLAYer (2nd grade and up) – Purposeful Play
PLAYer Teen (6th grade and up) – Purposeful Play
Par (3rd grade and up) – Interpersonal & Self Management Skills
Par Teen (6th grade and up) – Interpersonal & Self Management Skills
Birdie (5th grade and up) – Goal Setting Skills
Eagle (7th grade and up) – Resilience Skills
Ace (9th grade and up) – Career, Education, Volunteerism and Golf
Throughout each level participants experience the usefulness of The First Tee’s Nine Core Values – Respect, Courtesy, Responsibility, Honesty, Sportsmanship Confidence, Judgment, Perseverance, and Integrity.
The games in our classes are designed to be fun and educational for our participants. Students explore their own ideas about the game while being encouraged to exhibit behaviors beneficial to themselves and others. The curriculum is also designed to challenge our students. To progress from one level to the next, participants must convey all nine Core Values throughout the season, complete homework assignments, as well as pass tests during “Certification.” Only after a participant has completed certification and is grade eligible can progression to the next level occur. Participants frequently take a single class multiple times before certifying.
Elective classes offered by The First Tee of Silicon Valley are unique and engaging classes with a more concentrated focus. Examples of some electives are Golf Club, where students play a 9-hole round every week, and STEM Links, which stands for Science Technology Engineering and Math. STEM Links uses physics and engineering to analyze and understand the game of golf.
Instructors at The First Tee of Silicon Valley begin as volunteer coaches until they attend a multi-day training. At training they learn the basics of safety and the curriculum as well as the finer points of teaching and mentoring. The First Tee of Silicon Valley incentivizes coaches to attend more training sessions to raise the quality of our programs.