Fifth graders in Bay City’s elementary schools may soon be competing on athletic teams. During the local school board’s committee of the whole session Monday, May 6, trustees considered reviving the elementary athletic program.

Superintendent Dr. Stephen Bigelow says the renewed program has two benefits: give the students a source of pride in their school and encourage academic performance.

The Bay City district’s Elementary and Middle School Athletic Director Phil Zanotti says the program would include boys and girls basketball teams and a girls volleyball team. Those teams would join a flag football program already underway in conjunction with programs run by the Dow Bay Area Family YMCA.

Zanotti says it would cost around $65,000 to get the program up and running. The revised program would also include teaching all fifth graders how to swim as part of physical education classes.

District trustees are considering making a $10,000 donation to the Bay Community Tennis Association’s new tennis facility. Bigelow says the donation would help the association’s effort to win up to $50,000 in a matching grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

If the donation is approved next week, the board would restrict it to help with the cost of building a storage and bathroom facility at the site. The eight tennis courts are being built on the former Thomas Jefferson Elementary School site on Park, north of Ridge Rd. The school district still owns the property.