National Archery in the Schools Program

This year, our school was able to participate in the National Archery in the Schools Program.  This program is designed to bring the sport of international style archery into the school-day (4-12 grades).  Because I started knowing nothing about archery, I was not sure of how everything would work.  I wanted to be involved in this program because I wanted to bring something into my PE program that was new and different and everyone would be starting as a beginner.

Archery became a favorite at our school!  The students loved learning the sport during PE class and all were anxious to try and learn.  We had try-outs for an after school team and over 100 students tried out (about 1/3 of the eligible students).  40 students made the final team and they practiced for 8 weeks before attending the state tournament.  Our team took first in the state!  It was a rewarding and a unique experience for so many of the students.  I found that students succeeded in archery that struggle with every other sport.  It turned things around for some of my more negative students.

The challenge of teaching archery during the school day was the size of our gym versus class size.  I have about 36 students at a time and only 10 could shoot at once.  I organized the classes into 4 groups.  One group would be shooting at targets, one worked on archery-related fitness skills, one practiced the motions with string bows, and the last group was allowed to watch the shooters.

Our school was able to initiate this program due to a grant offered by the Utah Division of Natural Resources.    The Utah DNR provided us with the equipment needed and also the training for me to become a certified instructor.  Grants are available in many states.

To learn more about the NASP program, visit their webpage here.