Washington D.C. Joins the National Archery in the Schools Program
September 14, 2010
By: Roy Grimes, President, NASP®
While the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP®) continues to await adoption by the last three states; Vermont, Rhode Island, and Delaware, we are pleased to announce entry of the Washington D.C. school district to the program. At 4:45pm on August 4th, this 120-school district saw thirteen of its educators certified to bring NASP®-style archery lessons to 4th-12th grade students at 9 of its schools.
The 8-hour training was conducted in the gymnasium at Ballou High School and coordinated by Heather Holaday, the district's Program Manager for Health and Physical Education. Heather and 12 of the district's teachers participated in a certification class conducted by NASP® President, Roy Grimes. Ballou PE Teacher, Benjamin Davis was our on-site host providing the training location, classroom materials, and equipment to conduct the course. As is the case at most NASP® start-ups, few of the participating teachers were experienced archers. This also meant they had few, less-than-desirable archery habits to improve upon.
Planning for the entry of Washington DC students to NASP®'s world-wide corps of participating schools began in August, 2009. During one of his trips to the nation's capital to meet with potential supporters, Tom Bennett, NASP® Vice-President visited DC school district headquarters to describe the program's positive impacts on students. District decision makers were impressed with NASP®'s positive impact on student performance, attention spans, motivation, behavior, self-esteem, and enthusiasm for school. Of course leadership was also pleased to learn of NASP®'s perfect safety record and that, according to the National Safety Council, archery is safer than all ball sports taught in North America's schools except table tennis.
The day of training was filled with new information and practical exercises. The teachers eagerly learned new archery skills and shared with one another how they thought students would react to the fun of archery. Heather Holaday had this to say about NASP® coming to her district, 'We're excited to be piloting NASP in 9 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.' As have more than 20,000 teachers certified by NASP® to date, each DC teacher accomplished their practical exercises with flying colors and aced their 100-point final exams at day's end.
Like the 47 states, 5 provinces and countries before it, the launch of DC NASP® would not have been possible without generous support of companies and organizations who believe in NASP®. Before the first teacher could be certified we had to secure equipment kits for the physical education classes and materials to train the teachers. The Archery Trade Association donated $15,000 towards this effort which was about 40% of the total cost. Additional support was provided by: Mathews Archery, National Wild Turkey Federation, Easton Technical Products, Morrell Targets, Field Logic, Rinehart Targets, Shikar-Safari Club International, BCY, Brownell, Papes, Army National Guard, & Archery Shooter Systems. The Boone and Crockett Club provided $3,000 to purchase a NASP® archery kit to use during the training.
The 9 pilot schools are already presenting NASP®-style archery lessons to their students. During the next few weeks these schools will craft DC's own NASP® story of success. Teachers, parents, and students at other DC schools are hearing of the program's exciting results and will seek to become DC NASP® school number's 10-120! The next challenge for this new NASP® effort will be to find funding to bring this endeavor to more of its schools full of eager and able students. We at NASP® look forward to individuals and teams from these schools to be among the 7,000 students who participate in the NASP® National and World Championships each year in Louisville, KY and Orlando, Florida.
Now, to those last states: We have teachers at schools lined up to bring Rhode Island, Delaware, and Vermont into the NASP® world. We need help to make this happen. If you would like to be instrumental in making NASP® a reality for kids in those states, please let us know. If you can help our non-profit effort, please contact us @ http://www.nasparchery.com/