First Tee West Texas is a newly incorporated Midland, Texas based non-profit. Our mission and purpose is to provide The First Tee National School Program and DRIVE program to local and area youth. And, we’re already making a difference.
Beginning in October of 2017 and in partnership with the Midland Independent School District (MISD) we delivered The First Tee National School Program (NSP) to four elementary schools. Those schools are Burnet, Franks, Greathouse, and Washington STEM. We’ll also be adding many more MISD elementary schools in the fall of 2018. Also in the fall of 2018 we’ll be starting the NSP with Ector County Independent School District (ECISD).
We’re working closely and with guidance from The First Tee national headquarters in St. Augustine, Florida to develop a First Tee Chapter. Just like in Dallas, Austin, Ft. worth, Houston, and San Antonio. The process for becoming a The First Tee chapter is not easy and we currently are NOT a licensed chapter of The First Tee. But we will get there over the coming months. However, before we can apply for and be considered for Chapter status there is much work to be done.
Our first steps along the road to becoming Chapter are underway. By establishing the National School Program and DRIVE programs we are now focused along a path which will lead to our next steps.
We expect to submit our formal Chapter application and present our business plan to The First Tee sometime in early 2019. We’re working diligently with The First Tee to become a fully recognized and licensed Chapter of The First Tee in 2019.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
First Tee West Texas announced in May 2018 that MISD would be expanding The First Tee National School Program (NSP) throughout all elementary schools. Today we’re pleased to inform that MISD has selected nine more elementary schools to begin this fall.
- Bowie Fine Arts Institute
- Carver Center
- Santa Rita
With this expansion The First Tee NSP will now reach approximately 8,600 elementary students ages 6 through 12. In addition to our first four schools (Burnet, Franks, Greathouse, Washington STEM) started in October of 2017; this expansion will now bring our total up to 13 elementary schools in Midland.
We’re very excited to be a Partner in Education with MISD and want to thank our generous First Tee West Texas supporters along with MISD Superintendent-Orlando Riddick, and Audra Hooker-MISD Dir. Of P.E., Health, and Wellness.
ECISD PE and Health Coordinator, Michael Neiman, is a proponent of The First Tee National School Program and understands the impact that the program could have on students in Odessa, Tx. Coach Neiman has been with the district for over 30 years and before becoming an administrator, he was an elementary PE coach. Even though Coach Neiman is not a golfer, he knows first hand that the more options kids have, the better.
Some kids excel at team sports, others do better with individual sports. The First Tee National School Program gives the district an option to help kids realize their strengths and capabilities. Developing golf skills through the program is a plus, and developing life skills such as perseverance, sportsmanship, and honesty is invaluable. This golf and character-building program will be implemented in four ECISD schools this fall at the start of 2018-2019 school year. Our goal is to eventually have the program in all ECISD elementary schools.
First Tee West Texas Exe. Director Bill Kirby and local volunteer Rhonda Spykes, met with Coach Neiman and several ECISD coaches at the Inaugural ECISD Golf Tournament at Sunset Golf & Country Club on Saturday, May 19, 2018. The coaches are excited to get involved in the program and offered their full support.
This unique program comes at no cost to the district or tax payers. Each school is sponsored by private donations. First Tee West Texas is consistently working to connect with people in Odessa and Midland in order to gain support for this important program which we believe will empower youth and strengthen our communities.
May 2, 2018
First Tee West Texas have been given approval by MISD to expand The First Tee National School Program (NSP) into all 23 remaining elementaries in Midland, Texas. This expansion will kick-off in the fall of 2018.
Just prior to starting the fall 2018 school year The First Tee will send two of their national trainers to Midland in early August and conduct hands-on training for all PE Teachers/Coaches.
With this expansion; the First Tee National School Program in Midland will reach approximately 16,000* students in grades K-6 each year.
Parents – please feel free to contact us with any comments or questions.
*elementary membership provided by MISD eff. 2-21-2018
April 17, 2018 – Greathouse Elementary School, Midland, Texas
MISD along with partner, First Tee West Texas; held their official launch event announcing the arrival of the First Tee National School Program in Midland. Audra Hooker – MISD Director of P.E., Health, and Wellness made the initial selection of four schools to begin the programming. These four schools are Burnet, Franks, Greathouse, and Washington STEM Academy. Each school began their NSP program in October of 2017.
Attending the event were MISD officials: Orlando Riddick-Superintendent and Audra Hooker along with 32 kids (8 from each school), PE instructors, and many parents. Additionally, the event was honored to have two special guests in attendance – Ms. Pepper Peete, Development Associate-Outreach from The First Tee national headquarters in St. Augustine, FL., and Midlands own Judy Rankin, World Golf Hall of Fame member and Golf Channel Lead Analyst for the LPGA Tour.
During the event the kids from the four elementaries demonstrated to attendees how their daily program lessons are preformed.
MISD is planning to add many more schools in the fall of 2018. ECISD is also planning this fall to launch the National School Program in their elementary schools.
For more information about the National School Program (NSP) and how your child can participate call:
Bill Kirby – Exe. Director (see contacts above)
Develops Rewarding Inspiring Values for Everyone! We have witnessed this motto in action with the kids participating in The First Tee D.R.I.V.E. program in Odessa, Texas which launched in 2017. The Rotary Club provides volunteers to help implement and teach the program to about 35 kids from the Woodson Boys & Girls Club. Rewarding? Absolutely!
Our volunteers have committed that hearing 3rd through 5th grade kids use and understand words such as chip, putt, drive, as well as respect and courtesy, is rewarding. Observing these kids practice basic golf skills is rewarding. Visualizing the impact that these new words and skills could possibly have on their future is not only rewarding, but also exciting and heart warming.
Local high school and college golfers have assisted in our program and have inspired our girls and boys. The volunteers have made observations that many of the kids might already have enough basic golf skills to try out for, and make, a middle school golf team.
Will the kids stick with it and try out for the middle school, then a high school golf team? Will they continue to develop golf and character skills and have college scholarship options? We hope so. But we know that without this important program, the answers to those questions are “doubtful” and “probably not”.
The First Tee D.R.I.V.E. program has made a difference in the lives of these boys and girls, and we know that they’ll have options in their future that may not have been realized without the vision and efforts of a few community-minded individuals.
Midland College and it’s summertime Kids College will offer The First Tee – DRIVE program beginning in June of 2018. Kids College – Golf instructor Kristi Seybert is a seasoned veteran teaching golf to youngsters at the summer college camp the past 5 years. However, this year will be different and Kristi is excited to be offering the The First Tee – DRIVE program for the first time. One big difference Kristi recognized is the Nine-Core Values she’ll be teaching alongside her golf instruction. Kristi says she’s expecting about 72 kids participating in DRIVE this summer.