83.9 F
Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, July 17, 2024


March 20, 2002 – Twenty-nine young people from the Estate Bovoni Weed and Seed program are out to make a name for themselves at this year's Carnival — even though they haven't decided yet what it will be.
The youngsters, ranging in age from 9 to 17, will be performing in the Carnival Steel Band Jamboree in a Weed and Seed program first – their own steel orchestra. They're hard at work perfecting their skills for their 15-minute performance in the program the evening of April 21 in Lionel Roberts Stadium.
One of these days, they'll get around to choosing a name for their band.
Zelda Williams, program director, has been trying to get this show on the road for a while. "The kids are really excited," she said. "Some of them played for the schools, like Bertha C. Boschulte, and they have lots of experience. And some have never played before." Charlotte Amalie High School band instructor Francis Callwood is donating his time to get them in tune, she said.
The Weed and Seed band will have a new twist. "We're going to have a congo drummer," Williams said. Anthony Jenkins, a lawyer in the U.S. Attorney's Office, has been coaching a drumming class since last year.
There's more than music going on at Weed and Seed, too. A golf-and-mentoring program started last year is once again in progress. "The kids are excited because of Tiger Woods," Williams said. "Otherwise, golf just isn't something these kids are exposed to. But, hey, now that we've started it, there is an interest."
With the golf lessons comes the mentoring. Weed and Seed has partnered with the Women's International Network in Sports for this youth program. Golf pro Lisa Schmid coordinated the local effort, recruiting mentors and golf instructors from Mahogany Run. Schmid is in Houston now meeting with the program's national officers.
There's golf instruction on site in Bovoni for two hours on Saturdays, and at Mahogany Run from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Volunteer Josie Lindquist said the youngsters "learn golf fundamentals, but they also learn etiquette on the golf course. After they graduate, they can come and play three holes throughout the year."
Training takes place on what is called "snag" equipment. "It's a plastic apparatus," Lindquist said, "and it can launch a golf ball as far as 50 yards. It teaches the kids how to hold a club; it contains all the basic elements in modified form." Thinking about it, she added, "Well, it falls somewhere between minature golf and regulation."
Lindquist said the golf mentoring is part of a national "Go, Girl, Go" sports program for girls, and one called "Making the Journey" for boys. "Our goal is to get about a hundred kids from all the housing projects" involved, she said. Three days a week, she said, the youngsters get one-on-one tutoring, help with homework, and guidance in dealing with drugs, peer pressure, "things affecting them."
She noted, "The boys and girls share the same issues, but with a difference."
"They all do homework and arts and crafts," she said. "And we have a computer, but we're hoping for more."
She said the WINS volunteers work closely with the V.I. Housing Authority, encouraging representatives of the housing communities to tour the golf course and see what the programs offer.
Once the current eight-week course is completed, Williams said, golf will be integrated into Weed and Seed's regular summer program.

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