God answers prayers, kids love archery, teachers care about students and conservation professionals recognize the power of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) to grow the shooting sports. An awful lot is right with the world!
NASP quietly celebrated its "iron" (a.k.a. 6th) anniversary on March 3, 2008. The number of schools that have adopted NASP is 3,900 percent greater than the original objective 4,700 vs. 120 schools.
There are 84 percent more states in the program, eight months sooner than planned — 46 vs. 25 — and four more countries have adopted NASP than anticipated — Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand.
According to NASP coordinators, 3.2 million students have taken NASP lessons. Since inception, 15,000 teachers have been certified as Basic Archery Instructors to present NASP lessons by an army of 1,000 Basic Archery Instructor Trainers.
We are pleased that half the NASP states have established a culminating event, or as known in the archery world, a state NASP tournament. Counting region, state and national competitions, more than 25,000 NASP students sent more than 1,000,000 arrows 10 and 15 meters to the 80-centimeter FITA target in 2008. Laid end to end these Easton Genesis arrows would extend 473 miles — from Louisville, Kentucky to Madison, Wisconsin!
While the most exciting occurrence in NASP is the addition of new schools and their students, we continue to also work on making NASP a more sustainable organization. One of the greatest challenges educators face at potential NASP schools is funding for archery equipment.
Administrators are eager to implement the program after hearing how safe it is and how students respond so positively. Teachers are excited to go through NASP training to become better archers and instructors. Thanks to the generosity of NASP equipment providers, most of the equipment is available to schools at wholesale prices, without even excise or sales taxes.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Roy Grimes is the co-founder and national director of the National Archery in the Schools Program. To learn more about NASP or to contribute to the organization’s 501c(3) non-profit Educational Foundation, visit www.archeryintheschools.org.