Finding Aim

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Published on: Jul. 2, 2009

Last revision: Dec. 15, 2010

Archery in the Schools

Shelley, says the girls’ dad, Duane, and older brother, Holden, have picked up archery again since the girls learned archery in school. They set up straw bales and shoot in the yard. Now, they sometimes all shoot together

“It’s something they suddenly have in common with other family members, including their uncles and grandpa who bowhunt,” says Shelley. “A lot of conversations have started about archery shooting and picking out their first bow because now the girls can relate.”

Research reveals that 26 percent of NASP kids that have been in the program for a year or more buy (or convince someone else to buy for them) their own archery equipment. Parents are often happy to support a physical activity that provides a healthy alternative to spending too much time indoors with the TV, computer and video games. Parents are also discovering that archery is an activity they can share with their kids. Sometimes parents buy themselves a bow and learn the new skill alongside their child, or, like the twins’ dad, become inspired by their kids to get re-acquainted with archery.

Once kids get their own bow, the opportunities to practice and improve are endless. The twins practiced every night until dark the week before the state tournament.

NASP improves kids’ lives in the community

In addition to teaching NASP during regular school hours, more than a third of NASP schools have started after-school archery programs. While in-school NASP uses only a single type of bow, arrow and target in order to put the focus on the kids themselves instead of the equipment, after-school archery programs can introduce kids to a variety of equipment and shooting styles. Kids in after-school programs can shoot recurve bows, compound bows or longbows, and can use different types of targets, such as 3-D animal targets. In addition to having more chances to practice and enjoy the social benefits of shooting with other classmates, kids in after-school archery programs also benefit from the support and coaching of other teachers, parents and volunteers from the community.

Communities are seeing NASP as a great investment in their future. Local sporting clubs, conservation groups and civic organizations often donate archery equipment to schools, volunteer to help support after-school archery clubs and organize local competitions and 3-D shoots. In Missouri, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Whitetails Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Quality Deer Management Association, and the Friends of NRA are just a few of the

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