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The First Tee swings into Savannah-Chatham Elementary Schools helping students link golf skills with life lessons

Members of the Savannah First Tee chapter with representatives from Georgia Power and Savannah-Chatham Elementary Schools

April 24, 2013

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The First Tee of Savannah, in partnership with Georgia Power, is proud to announce that elementary school students in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School District will now have access to The First Tee National School Program as part of physical education instruction.

Savannah-Chatham elementary schools will implement The First Tee National School Program in association with Georgia Power, the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, through an extension of the company’s longstanding relationship with the PGA TOUR. Southern Company is The First Tee’s Education Patron.

The character education lessons taught through The First Tee National School Program – honesty, judgment, respect, and responsibility – are consistent with the principles that employees of Southern Company and its subsidiaries aspire to. Southern Company’s customer-focused business model is guided by SouthernStyle – the company’s value proposition that includes Unquestionable Trust, Superior Performance and Total Commitment.

P.E. teachers in these elementary schools will receive professional development training over the coming months to deliver The First Tee National School Program within their current physical education program. The noted program provides character education and health lessons along with basic golf instruction.

“Savannah Chatham County Public Schools is so pleased to be partnering with The First Tee of Savannah and Georgia Power for the benefit of all elementary and K-8 schools,” said Sharon Sand, chief academic officer for the school district. “The First Tee offers opportunities for our students to practice character education through the lessons learned. We look forward to expanding our partnership and engaging our students in the world of golf.”

The First Tee National School Program 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 while gaining an introduction to a lifelong recreation and health-enhancing activity.

There are currently five elementary schools delivering the program in Savannah, and by the 2013-2014 school year, it will be extended to all 34. Nationwide, there are more than 2.6 million students at 5,300 schools in 800 school districts participating in The First Tee National School Program.

Georgia Power has long supported education initiatives leading to a better-trained, highly motivated workforce, which helps ensure a sound economic future for Georgia.

“We are proud to be associated with The First Tee organization and to help bring this very successful program to Savannah-area students,” said Georgia Power Coastal Region Vice President Cathy Hill.

Launched in 2004, the National School Program curriculum was developed by The First Tee along with leading experts in physical education and positive youth development.  It is aligned with and meets national standards developed by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE).  Physical educators delivering the program are formally trained and certified by The First Tee and use safe, developmentally appropriate lesson plans and equipment in their classes. 

The lesson plans include The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits, which were developed in partnership with the ANNIKA Foundation and Florida Hospital for Children. 

According to a survey conducted earlier this year among 860 physical educators using The First Tee National School Program curriculum, 66 percent reported using The First Tee Nine Core Values—character education seamlessly delivered as part of the program—in other sports and activities they teach beyond golf.  A third-party case study conducted in one Midwestern school district in 2011 further validated the program when administrators and physical educators reported finding great value in the program. Click here for more results on the survey and case study. 

For more information about The First Tee National School Program in Savannah, visit www.thefirstteesavannah.org.

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