comes in part from the Federal Aid in Sportfish Restoration Program, which distributes some fishing-related taxes towards sportfish conservation and education.
Along with free teacher training, student books and teacher guides for each unit, the Department provides grants for exploration equipment, outdoor classroom materials and field experiences. Conservation grants supporting Discover Nature Schools totaled $268,909 in 2011. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/node/9019.
Archery In The Schools
The Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program (MoNASP) was created to teach kids the basics of archery as a part of school curriculum for grades 4–12. The program, part of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP), began in Missouri in 2007. Today more than 38,000 Missouri students from 227 schools participate in MoNASP. The 2012 state tournament drew more than 1,150 competitors from 55 schools.
Students of all sizes and abilities learn archery together, and at competitions, boys and girls are at the shooting line together. “You don’t have to be athletic, fast, big or strong to be good at archery,” says NASP’s co-founder, Roy Grimes.
When teacher Tracy Flood heard about the archery program, she knew it would be a good fit for her outdoor education class. Flood, a teacher at Crane Middle School, now has a waiting list of kids who want to take her class. “Archery is the most popular class in middle school. Once they’re hooked, they’re hooked. Kids want to shoot, so they make sure they keep their grades up.”
“Kids love archery, and archery helps kids excel,” says the Department’s MoNASP Coordinator Eric Edwards. “Statistics show that school archery programs improve school attendance, increase participants’ self-confidence and physical activity, they can better relate to what they are learning, it appeals to a great variety of students, it gets kids outdoors to discover nature, and for many, it can become an after-school activity.”
Communities are seeing the archery program 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. In Missouri, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Whitetails Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Quality Deer Management Association, Bass Pro Shops and the Friends of National Rifle Association are just a few of the groups that have donated equipment or funds to support schools.
“Success breeds success,” says Conservation Commissioner Don Johnson, who helped bring the archery program to