Some major challenges facing public schools are: Classroom Size, Poverty, Family Factors, Bullying, Student Attitudes and Behaviors, and Student Health. The First Tee of Silicon Valley’s youth development program helps bridge the gap by teaching our participants The First Tee Nine Core Values, Nine Healthy Habits and 4 Life Skills for use both on and off the course. Our coaches work with the students to help them apply what they learn in their golf class to their school life.
The games in our classes are designed to be fun, educational and promote self-discovery. Our 3 tips for having fun are Be Patient, Be Positive and Ask For Help which we encourage participants to take to the classroom too.
From Grades 2 through 12, youth progress through 5 different levels of age appropriate First Tee curriculum and are required to pass an assessment to progress. All participants start at the PLAYer level regardless of age. The pinnacle of The First Tee is completing Ace and The First Tee of Silicon Valley is very proud of our 56% retention rate – one of the highest amongst all First Tee chapters across the US.
Here is a snapshot of what Life Skills our participants learn at each level:
- PLAYer (2nd grade & up) – Tee up for the first time and learn the game of golf and The First Tee’s Code of Conduct: Respect for Myself, Respect for Others and Respect for my surroundings.
- Par (3rd grade & up) – Focus on interpersonal and self-management skills on and off the course.
- Birdie (5th grade & up) – Emphasis on setting goals and making them a reality.
- Eagle (7th grade & up) – Learn resilience, conflict resolution, and future planning.
- Ace (9th grade & up) – Put it all together and hone in on setting goals, career, education, and giving back to the community.