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Village Elementary Students Learning Life Skills Through the Game of Golf

Something special is happening in Round Lake, IL. Students from Village Elementary School are learning life skills through the game of golf at Renwood Golf Course.  These 3rd and 4th graders are led by their Principal, Andrew Wilson, one of their teachers, Scott Walgamotte, and assisted by Patsy Kregel and Assistant Principal, Ryan Doyle on Saturdays mornings this fall. The First Tee has had an ongoing relationship with Round Lake District 116 for the past several years through their National Schools Program. Students are exposed to life skills curriculum in their elementary and middle school Physical Education programs. 

Andrew Wilson, lead coach for The First Tee program at Renwood Golf Course, explains his vision for the classes. “The idea was to partner community with school district. I wanted to provide our students with the opportunity to continue their education outside of school with their classmates in a program I feel very strongly about. We have had Round Lake students participate before, but these classes are about building relationships within Village school specifically.” Students are exposed to the “9 core values” of The First Tee including honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, courtesy, and judgment.  “This is character education through the game of golf,” principal Wilson said. Parents can be seen volunteering as well as following along with curiosity each Saturday. 

When asked, “What do you like about your class?,” Mother, Bonnie Sheppard said, “The first tee program was an absolute perfect opportunity for Braydon to explore a new sport. It gave him the chance to learn the game of golf, the technical aspects, and also ways to apply his newfound skills in everyday life. Having class at the golf course was extremely valuable and really brought the experience full circle. He enjoyed being with a group of peers he was familiar with, got to know his principal & physical education teacher as a coach and as a mentor outside of the school setting where the game actually takes place. Huge thanks are due to Mr. Wilson for working hard to implement this program at Village & to Renwood Golf course.” 

PGA Professional, Brad Rouse adds, “As the pro for Renwood Golf Course for the past 10 years, The First Tee program and our summer Family Golf Days have been the most successful ways for us to get children to our golf course.  We look forward to continued success in the future with these programs here at Renwood Golf Course.”  Principal Wilson continued, “This has been a huge win for our school and community. This programming would not be possible without the dedication of our staff and families.  Our parents are always looking for opportunities for their children.  I can’t wait for our spring classes.  Our students deserve the best!” 

If you would like to learn more about the program, please contact Heather Bennett, Public Relations Officer, at hbennett@rlas-116.org or 847-270-9007.

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