MISSOULA, Mont.—Since launching in 2002, the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP®) has become a true phenomenon, expanding into 47 states and introducing tens of thousands of students to a traditional outdoor sport. Now, with help from Boone and Crockett Club, NASP has another new chapter—in America's capital.
Thirteen educators from nine pilot schools in Washington D.C. were recently certified to bring NASP archery lessons to their students in grades 4-12.
Boone and Crockett provided $3,000 to purchase a NASP archery kit to use during the instructor training.
"Like all NASP startups, Washington D.C. would not have been possible without the generous support of companies and organizations like Boone and Crockett Club. No teacher can be trained or certified without the necessary equipment, so sponsors are vital to our effort," said Roy Grimes, president of NASP.
Boone and Crockett officials see NASP as an important gateway to understanding and involvement in the North American model of wildlife conservation.
"As it builds archery skills, participation and, hopefully, future commerce in a lifelong pastime, NASP is helping to generate funding for conservation. The federal excise taxes on new bows and arrows remain vital to state wildlife agency budgets nationwide," said Lowell Baier, president of Boone and Crockett Club, which is chartered in Washington D.C. "NASP also builds mainstream appreciation for sport shooting, hunting and other outdoor recreation activities, especially among students—and, by extension, their parents and families—who have no tangible connection to the outdoors or wildlife or conservation."
When incorporated into physical education curricula, NASP also is documenting many positive impacts on students, such as better performance in school, improved attention spans, motivation, behavior, self-esteem and enthusiasm. The program also boasts a perfect safety record. According to the National Safety Council, archery is safer than all ball sports taught in North America's schools except table tennis.
Heather Holaday, one of the participating educators from Washington D.C., said, "We're excited to be piloting NASP in nine of our schools this year. Our intent is to use NASP international style target archery in our physical education classes as part of the regular curriculum. We believe the archery program will instill confidence in students, improve their focus and behavior, and expose them to an activity that levels the playing field for everyone, so that all may enjoy success."
Some 7,000 students are expected to participate in the annual NASP National and World Championships held respectively in Louisville, Ky., and Orlando, Fla.
For more information on NASP, visit www.nasparchery.com.