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Teaching. Reaching. Oakland

Changing Lives.

Your gift now can elevate the future for Oakland kids 9

Here at The First Tee of Oakland, I see little of the crime, poverty and addiction that have altered the lives of today’s youth. In fact, every day I see children soaring above the limitations of their environment, inspired by the 9 Core Values instilled by our program.

Our positive youth development program isn’t just about golf, it’s about teaching life skills through golf. In our seasonal eight-week program, we first introduce the values of respect and courtesy. Each session thereafter focuses on one of the remaining seven core values -- honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, confidence, responsibility, perseverance and judgment -- each with a corresponding golf skill, life skill and healthy habit. I see The First Tee’s success on the face of the little boy who came to the program making eye contact with no one, who now shakes the hand and gazes into the eyes of everyone he meets. I see its success in the pride of a parent, whose teen daughter now takes responsibility for doing her homework -- or at least tells the truth about why she didn’t finish. I see The First Tee’s success in study results that show 78 percent of participants say they became better people at school, at home and in the community through the Life Skills Education program. And I see The First Tee of Oakland’s success in sheer numbers: We have been growing fast, serving a record 442 youth in our 2012 youth development programs at Lake Chabot Golf

Course and Metropolitan Golf Links. We aspire to increase that number to 650 in 2013 while also connecting with 4,000 National School Program students and 1,200 more kids through school and community outreach. But we will need your help, because more than 80 percent of our participants need financial assistance. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit that depends on the Oakland community for funding. I hope the stories in this newsletter will inspire you to include The First Tee of Oakland among the recipients of your year-end charitable gifts, for 2012 and for years to come. There’s a DONATE button online at, or you can mail your tax-deductible donation to us at 11425 Golf Links Road in Oakland, 94605. Thank you for helping kids stay on course.

April Kenyon

Executive Director, The First Tee of Oakland

What can you do? Help us improve the ratio It’s a sunny autumn Wednesday at Lake Chabot Golf Course and The First Tee of Oakland program manager Chris MorenoHunt has set up the ninth hole and the putting green for 26 energetic kids in grades 2-8. “For them, it feels like a vacation,” Chris says. “For us, we have our hands full, with just four instructors for 26 kids. When we have a better ratio, the instructors can play games with the kids at their level and give a lot more attention.”

You don’t have to be a golfer to help out! You can assist coaches or contribute office skills. Volunteers simply fill out a form and have a single orientation session; would-be coaches can embark on the multi-level training program that advances from Assistant Coach all the way to Master Coach for First Tee. If you can spare four hours a week to help the kids, give Chris a call at 510.352.2002 or email him at

Short on both volunteers and coaches, the program often struggles to achieve its 6-to-1 preferred ratio. The children are so well-behaved and enthusiastic, so engaged in the day’s lesson on sportsmanship, it seems a shame not to treat them to a little bit more attention. Could you help? After-school program hours at Lake Chabot or Metropolitan are 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and Saturday program hours span from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

“ When we have a better ratio, the instructors can play games with the kids at their level and give a lot more attention.” Chris Moreno-Hunt

The First Tee of Oakland program manager

In 2012, The First Tee of Oakland welcomed new program manager Chris Moreno-Hunt (on the left with this crowd of kids). Chris holds a BA in American Studies from Pitzer College and has been involved with golf for 15 years -- most recently as head golf coach for Albany High, where he led the boys to their first league title in 45 years.

New for 2013: Take The First Tee to school Howard Elementary, Sankofa Academy and Grass Valley Elementary this fall became the first Oakland Unified School District elementary schools to enroll in The First Tee’s National School Program, which introduces golf skills and The First Tee’s 9 Core Values as part of the physical education curriculum. Nationally, The First Tee has made its way into 4,800 elementary schools. The First Tee of Oakland aspires to bring its program to at least 10 more schools in 2013.

Implementation of The First Tee through the National School Program requires a one-time investment of $5,000 for equipment, curriculum and teacher training. After that, the program endures as a perpetual instrument for teaching golf, core values and healthy habits. If you would like to lead The First Tee into your neighborhood elementary school or provide sponsorship for the National School Program, please contact April Kenyon at or 510.352.2002.

How We’re Growing 2010









National School Program










Target Outreach










Core values mix with academics, not just golf Northern Light School has won acclaim and support by serving 175 of the Oakland’s most challenged and at-risk K-8 children with a whole-child, extended-learning approach. Director and co-founder Michelle Lewis proudly notes that of the 231 kids who have graduated since 1995, 230 have gone on to attend private high schools (and one is an astronaut!). So when Lewis heard about the 9 Core Values taught by The First Tee of Oakland, she quickly reserved a full weekly time slot on Wednesdays at Lake Chabot. “It sounded like an offshoot of our school,” she said. “And I try to expose the kids to things that are not the norm in their environment -- so, it’s golf rather than football. A lot of them go on to private boarding schools, and for them to have an attribute like golf is so cool!” Lewis is thrilled with the lessons The First Tee of Oakland has instilled -- and with the reception from the children. “They love it,” said Lewis. She offered up the 25 available spots, first come, first served, and had to turn away more than 15 other students. Unlike with many First Tee chapters, more than 80 percent of Oakland chapter students are subsidized with scholarships. Your gift of $110 would pay a student’s tuition for an entire eight-week program. To donate right now, visit and click on the Paypal button.

Coming of age with The First Tee Here in Oakland, we don’t need national studies to show the value of The First Tee. We’ve got Juliana and Myrese to tell us how the 9 Core Values have impacted them:

Juliana Guillot-Williams age: 14 8th-grader at St. Theresa “ My favorite core value is ‘perseverance,’ because when you struggle at something, you have to keep trying, and then when you succeed, it’s awesome. For example, I have trouble reading and putting what I read in an essay, but when I had to do a book report on ‘The Odyssey,’ I got the highest grade you can get. I think about the core values every day.”

Myrese Jackson age: 12 8th-grader at Golden State Preparatory Academy “ I like perseverance, because you should always try and never give up. You have to have a lot of passion and if you do you’ll be successful. In school I always persevere. That’s why I have fantastic grades. Running the mile, that’s where I really had to persevere. … I also notice that The First Tee has made me more confident. I participate in class more.”

Donate in memory of a special golfer One of The First Tee of Oakland’s 2012 highlights came as a surprise—a $25,000 grant from the Bonita Garden Club in memory of its parliamentarian, Frances Whyte. It turns out that Mrs. White (1914-2009) won the Sequoyah Country Club women’s championship in each of six decades beginning with the 1930s. “Frances originally asked that we use the grant money for horticultural education,” Garden Club vice-president Georgia Madden said. “We made an exception for The First Tee because golf had been such a love of her life. And golf promotes getting outside into nature in what is really a beautiful garden environment.” Is there a golfer whose memory you could honor with a gift to The First Tee of Oakland? Be sure to email his or her story to, so it can be told in future newsletters.

How your gift pays forward Oakland

$22,400 covers transportation for more than 100 participants in one eight-week after-school session

Board of Directors


Officers Michael Karasik, President William Peterson, Vice President John Mangini, Treasurer Mimi Johnson-Jacobs, Secretary Directors George Argyris Steve Harker Roger Huddlestone Elgin Lowe Mark Maguire Jay McDaniel, PGA

$1,400 supports instructor costs for 40 classes $560 subsidizes 40 buckets of balls $330 provides a scholarship for one participant

Nancy McDaniel, LPGA Vern Padgett Justin Roach John Rodenburg Philip Rowley Scott Stone

Staff April Kenyon, Executive Director Chris Moreno-Hunt, Program Manager The First Tee of Oakland 11425 Golf Links Road Oakland, CA 94605 510.352.2002

establishes The First Tee National School Program in an elementary school’s physical education curriculum

for an entire year

Save these dates! The First Tee of Oakland’s board and volunteers are working hard to schedule fundraisers in 2013. Here are two you can mark on your calendar now! April 29, 2013: Women’s Golf Day at Sequoyah Country Club, featuring a morning clinic, nine holes of golf and lunch with a very special guest speaker. May 6, 2013: 3rd Annual Fundraising Golf Tournament at Claremont Country Club, space limited to first 120 golfers. To sign up, volunteer or donate tee prizes or auction items – or to organize other fundraisers—contact April Kenyon at 510.352.2002 or

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