Softball, soccer, and basketball are typical sports taught in P.E. classes, but at Amelia Earhart Elementary in La Quinta, they’re teaching golf.
"Right off the bat they were like, oh golf. I don’t want to play golf. That doesn’t seem fun. And by the time the lesson was over, they didn’t want to stop," according to First Tee Program Director Dustin Smith.
The First Tee of the Coachella Valley is known for teaching young adults life lessons through the game of golf and thanks to a $25,000 grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger foundation, the organization is now bringing its youth golf programs into area schools. Prior to the grant, Amelia Earhart Elementary in La Quinta implemented the program.
Trixie Mauleon-Macro, P.E. teacher at Amelia Earhart Elementary says, "Here at this schools we are bringing in the NSP, which is the National Schools Program. Which is something that happens within the bell during P.E. in this situation. So it’s really cool. It’s great for the kids to kind of get exposed to the first year program and game of golf and mainly for the core values that are attached along with the First Tee Program. Things like respect, honesty, courtesy, those are the things that really help them in these lessons that make them better in their classrooms and make them better students."
Two bags filled with equipment were donated to the schools as well as lesson plans. Dustin Smith tells us, "Most of the lesson plans are pretty straight forward so they can pretty much handle most of them themselves after a week or so of training through me and the home office."
"It was definitely easy and the kids absolutely loved it and I had a great time. Now I’m actually motivated to learn how to play golf myself, for real," says Mauleon-Macro.
Three Indio schools have already implemented the program this year and there are plans to keep the number growing.
Smith goes on to say, "Our goal is to get into every school in the greater Palm Springs, Coachella Valley area. But right now, our focus is Desert Sands Unified School District. Growing our Indio facility over there, Indio Lights and the Berger Foundation Grant is really going to help us do that."