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First Grant for Missouri National Archery in the Schools

Published on: Apr. 24, 2008

It may be a small school with just 51 students, but Shawnee R-III didn’t let that hold them back— they’re the first school to receive the Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program grant offered by the Missouri Department of Conservation and Conservation Federation of Missouri. Kevin Lohraff, Missouri Department of Conservation’s MoNASP coordinator, described the scene marking the occasion at the school. “All the younger kids sat on the bleachers while the older ones stepped up and tried their skills. Wild cheering erupted every time someone hit the bullseye. And you could see the immediate effect it had on the archers. Suddenly they’re walking with their shoulders back, heads high—a real sense of achievement.”

MoNasp

To become certified, a PE teacher took the MoNASP training, then the school came up with funding to purchase the archery kits. The Missouri Department of Conservation and Conservation Federation of Missouri support the program with $500 grants and schools provide the rest of the $2,700. At Shawnee R-III, a variety of businesses, individuals and groups in the area communities pitched in to make it happen (Wal-Mart of Warrensburg; Jeff Nold of Montrose Archery Association; John Dameron, president of the school board; Paul Teegarden of Rockin’ Outdoor Motion Targets; the Country Store of Shawnee Mound; Kreissler Drug; Carney’s of Clinton and Ace Hardware of Warrensburg.)

“A few schools have told us they don’t have the funds to do this,” Kevin said. “But Shawnee R-III doesn’t have a lot of resources—just a lot of passion and strong community support. I hope they’re an inspiration to others that it can be done.”

Missouri is a member of the National Archery in the Schools Program that began in Kentucky in 2002. Now the program is in 47 states and three countries. “The schools that have been part of this have seen improved attendance and increases in self-esteem and physical activity. Archery is a lifelong sport for boys and girls alike. You don’t have to be the biggest and strongest to succeed. We want to spread the word in Missouri so more students can enjoy it.”

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