The U.S. Department Of Education Approves Funding For AAGF

Thursday, May 6, 2008

On The Right Course

Marietta, GA  The African American Golf Foundation, Inc. (AAGF), a Georgia-based, 501(c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to enriching children through golf, was awarded a three-year, $600,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education. This grant will be used to assist Cobb County schools with improving children’s interpersonal relationships with their peers, teachers, adults, and family members as well as reduce drop-out rates, delinquency, and involvement in gangs.

AAGF will use the funds to operate after-school programs that will feature mentoring for at-risk students and their parents. ‘On The Right Course’ will be launched at Fair Oaks and Hollydale Elementary Schools. The program will serve at least 50 students per school. Plans are in the works to expand the program to other selected elementary and middle schools and endorsed by Cobb Board of Commissioners, (Chairman) Samuel S. Olens and (District 4) Annette Kesting. AAGF is committed to helping our students learn important social and business skills using golf as the medium.

“We are excited about this new opportunity,” said Edward Oden, AAGF founding executive director. “This grant provides the needed funding to structure our first formal educational program in AAGF‘s 21-year history to go along with its experienced golf instruction programming. The Department Of Education has given us the credentials and the opportunity to make an impact on our local community, but we are still going to need a lot of help.”

Mr. Oden is now hopeful that Atlanta-based corporations and community stakeholders will join AAGF in its efforts to make a positive impact on the lives of at-risk students. “We need additional support to survive and see these children through the critical times of their lives.”

Osborne High School may be a site in the future when additional funding and sponsorship becomes available. Students interested in participating in the program will be asked to write an essay before being selected by both school and program staff. AAGF will launch the program on 8/18/08. No golf experience is necessary.

“Golf is a wonderful tool to help shape ones’ character in a positive way” said Oden. “Golf stresses the principles of honesty, self-reliance, and dedication. For many minorities, golf is inaccessible for economic, cultural, and racial reasons.” For more than 20 years, AAGF has been dedicated to the idea that golf should be experienced by everyone regardless of their economic status or race.

“Golf has opened doors in my life that would not have been opened otherwise. I am grateful for the chance to help Cobb County students learn important life lessons through golf and the friendship of their mentors.”

For more information on how you can help, contact: Program Director, Eda Garcia or Executive Director, Edward Oden

The DOE grant is authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

For additional information about the DOE mentoring grants visit the following website: Department Of Education Grants