First Tee Youth Learning Center Opens at Weequahic Park
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (June 12, 2012) - The brand-new, state-of-the-art First Tee Youth Learning Center was officially unveiled on Wednesday, June 6 at Essex County's Weequahic Park in Newark. The center is slightly larger than 1,600 square feet and includes a computer lab area and flexible classroom space for group learning and presentations.
The First Tee began offering their leadership, life skills and golf learning program in Essex County in 2006 and the new center will create year-round opportunities for kids to work together on both their academics and their golf skills.
“The First Tee is a phenomenal program that combines teaching young people how to play golf and leadership skills that will help them accomplish their goals throughout their lifetime," said Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr. "We are pleased that our relationship with The First Tee has been so successful and that through that partnership we have been able to provide our young people with an enriching recreational experience. The opening of the Youth Learning Center will enable programming to expand over a full year, classes to be held indoors during inclement weather and new recreational and educational opportunities to be offered for our youth.”
The new space will enable the First Tee to double the number of programs being offered, expand programs into full-year courses and provide a place for students to learn when there is inclement weather. Essex County Weequahic Golf Course originally had a three-hole youth training course built in 2006, but has since added additional artificial greens to the area for kids to practice on.
New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith made a special appearance and signed autographs for kids at the grand opening event. Smith, who went to high school in the Newark area at St. Benedict's Prep, runs the J.R. Smith Foundation which helps fund high school and college tuition for neighborhood kids.