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Golf Program Tees Off at Accompsett Elementary

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Even though the program is on pause currently, it’s still a hole in one for the new golf initiative that started as a pilot this year at Accompsett Elementary run by four golf athletes from High School West. The First Tee program is a 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.

The four students – Shannon Alptekin, William Alptekin, Tarun Karthic and Suraj Karthic – started the program this year by visiting the school for the full day for two consecutive days three times per year. They teach the younger students the basics of golf but also bigger core values. The Smithtown High School West students raised money to start the program, which included the online training, curriculum and equipment.

“We teach the students about respect and safety while also teaching them healthy habits and character building,” said Shannon Alptekin. “We show them how to correlate these values to the sport. This is our youth and they are our future.” Both Shannon and her brother William are Accompsett Elementary graduates. “It means much more to us to have this connection to the elementary school we attended.”

Accompsett Elementary students learn about the basics of the sports, such as swinging, putting and the rules of the game. The High School West students run all of the lessons, which are tied to the First Tee curriculum.