The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) began in the fall of 2000 when a group of Kentucky Fish & Wildlife, Education and Archery Industry interests began planning a program to include target archery instruction as part of the Physical Education curriculum in Kentucky schools. The following spring 22 Kentucky middle schools joined the pilot program by agreeing to have their PE teachers take the 12-hour National Archery Association level 1 certification course,
utilize and equipment kit designed for the program, and by adopting a 2-week long KY Dept. of Education-approved archery curriculum.
During the pilot phase of the program more than 1,600 student archers were surveyed to determine their archery experience and some of the impacts of having learned the skill of archery as part the PE class at their school. The following results were revealed:
Before the 2-week archery class began:
72% did not own a bow
62% had never before shot a bow
After the 2-week archery class:
89% of the students enjoyed the archery class
45% want to purchase personal archery equipment
59% want to become target archers
38% want to try bowhunting (only 9% of Kentucky citizens hunt)
Teachers and principals reported that the archery program was extremely successful in engaging all students. They reported improved behavior and attendance on archery days and that students who normally didn't participate in PE class or who didn't have success with other "sports" were thrilled with archery.
Today, just a bit more than a year after Kentucky's pilot project, more than 160 of the state's schools are enrolled in the archery program. This means more than 130,000 students/year will learn the discipline of target archery from their PE teacher. People from every state and six countries have contacted the KY Dept of Fish & Wildlife Resources to learn how the program can be implemented in their school system. Through a series of face-to-face workshops and seminars over the past 9 months, 33 state fish & wildlife agencies have learned how the can become part of the National Archery in the Schools Program.
Alabama and Arizona piloted programs in their schools during the spring of 2003. The wildlife agencies in WV, GA, WY, AR, TN, IL & OH have trained or are about to train their staff so they will be able to pilot the program in the near future.
If 30 states enroll in the NASP and have half of the success Kentucky is enjoying, more than 3,000,000 students per year will learn the skill of target archery.
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