Chattanooga Gas Funds Training And Equipment To Bring First Tee Golf Program To Hamilton County Schools

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Elementary school students at 10 schools in Hamilton County will learn the basic skills of golf, along with character and health education in their physical education program thanks to the support of Chattanooga Gas.

Physical education teachers will teach the golf lessons in the schools using safe, fun lesson plans provided in the First Tee National School Program curriculum, officials said.

The 10 elementary schools selected for the program include East Ridge Elementary, Red Bank Elementary, East Side Elementary, Orchard Knob Elementary, Woodmore Elementary, East Lake Elementary, Wallace A. Smith Elementary, Ooltewah Elementary, Dupont Elementary and East Brainerd Elementary.

Funding for the program provided by Chattanooga Gas will allow for training of the P.E. teachers at the ten schools, in addition to age-appropriate golf equipment to use in classes at the schools.  Additionally, physical education teachers from the rest of the elementary schools in the school district will go through the training to enhance programs at the rest of the school system’s elementary physical education programs.  

The training will take place on Friday, Jan. 5 from 8:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. at Ooltewah Middle School.  The session will begin with a presentation by Chattanooga Gas of a check for $35,000 to Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson for the training and golf supplies.  Two certified golf trainers with the First Tee program will lead the teachers through an active training session on Friday with examples of how children will learn using the golf program. 

Chris Darras, a physical education teacher at Dupont Elementary and lead elementary physical education teacher for Hamilton County Schools, was instrumental in securing the First Tee program for the schools.  “The First Tee National School Program online training course is an interactive, video-rich session designed to provide vivid examples on how golf skills, core values and healthy habits are safely and effectively integrated into physical education classes,” Mr. Darras said.  “Any physical educator trained and certified to teach The First Tee national school program may access the online training program free of charge at any time.”
The First Tee curriculum developed by leading experts in physical education and positive youth development aligns with and meets national standards developed by the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE). The program formally trains and certifies physical education teachers to use safe, developmentally appropriate lesson plans and equipment in their classes.  The lesson plans include The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits, developed in partnership with the ANNIKA Foundation and Florida Hospital for Children.  
"The First Tee National School Program launched in 2004 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 and while gaining an introduction to a lifelong recreation and health-enhancing activity," officials said.

Nationwide, more than at 8,000 schools in 1,200 school districts have introduced to The First Tee National School Program.

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