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The First Tee Golf Program Coming to MPSD Elementary Schools

 Meridian Public School District Elementary Physical Education Instructors participated in The First Tee program training recently to learn how to implement the program in their schools. Pictured left to right: Al Willis, The First Tee of Meridian Coach; Thomas Adams, Crestwood Elementary School Physical Education Instructor; Vincent Coley, Poplar Springs Elementary School Physical Education Instructor; Lana Peterson-Pressler, The First Tee National Trainer; Gloria Willis, The First Tee of Meridian Executive Director; Vermonda McNair; T.J. Harris Elementary School Physical Education Instructor; Wanda Hicks, Oakland Heights Elementary School Physical Education Instructor; Craig Hall, West Hills Elementary School Physical Education Instructor; and Arthur Harris, Parkview Elementary School Physical Education Instructor.


The First Tee, in partnership with Mississippi Power, is proud to announce that elementary school students in all seven Meridian Public Elementary Schools will begin receiving The First Tee National School Program as part of physical education instruction.

Professional development training took place Friday, October 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Meridian High School Gym, 2320 32nd St, Meridian, MS  39305. At the training, physical education teachers learned how to deliver The First Tee National School Program within their P.E. program, and specifically how to integrate the character education and health lessons along with basic golf instruction.

The Meridian Public School District elementary schools will implement The First Tee National School Program in association with Mississippi Power, the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, through an extension of the Southern Company’s long-standing relationship with the PGA TOUR. Southern Company is The First Tee’s Education Patron.

Over the past two years, The First Tee has implemented the program at 40 elementary schools throughout southeast Mississippi through its partnership with Mississippi Power and Southern Company. In 2013, Southern Company committed to launching The First Tee Program at 1,000 schools over five years.

“The First Tee’s promotion of golf ideals such as honor, integrity, and sportsmanship are essential to the development of young minds on and off the course,” said Eddie Kelly, Mississippi Power Meridian Division Manager. “The program also provides the right equipment, training and resources to aid students in being physically active for a lifetime.”

The character education lessons taught through The First Tee National School Program – honesty, judgment, respect and responsibility – are consistent with the principles that guide the employees of Mississippi Power and its parent, Southern Company. Mississippi Power’s and 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.

“The Meridian Public School District is proud to partner with The First Tee along with Mississippi Power and the Southern Company to offer this unique program and opportunity to our elementary students,” said Dr. Amy Carter, MPSD Assistant Superintendent of Student Services. “We are looking forward to watching our students grow, not only in the skill of golf, but also in character, health, and sportsmanship taught through The First Tee program.”

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. Nationwide, more than 7,000 schools in 1,000 districts have signed on to deliver The First Tee National School Program.

Mississippi Power has long supported education initiatives leading to a better trained, highly motivated workforce, helping to ensure a sound economic future for Mississippi.

For more information about The First Tee National School Program, visit

About The First Tee

The First Tee ( is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization whose mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. With its home office at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., The First Tee reaches young people on golf courses, in elementary schools and at other youth-serving locations.

Since its inception in 1997, The First Tee has introduced the game of golf and its values to more than 10.5 million young people in all 50 United States and select international locations. The First Tee’s Founding Partners are LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and the USGA. Shell Oil Company is The First Tee’s Founding Corporate Partner and Johnson & Johnson is its Legacy Partner. Former President George W. Bush serves as honorary chair.

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