Indiana Archery in Schools Program Good for Students

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Indiana is one of nine states participating in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) to determine how the program affects student grades, behavior and school attendance.

A total of 56 Indiana schools participate, with 15 others planning to join soon.

"This is one the most innovative and engaging programs that encourages students to be involved with the shooting sports, said Rob Carter Jr., DNR director. "Regardless of the student's athletic abilities, archery can be enjoyed by all and provides additional life skills that will be retained by these students the rest of their life."

According to Tim Beck of the DNR Division of Law Enforcement, who leads the Indiana program, 211 teachers/instructors have been trained as Basic Archery Instructors (BAI) to deliver the NASP message to students.

Beck said there are 45 Basic Archery Instructor Trainer (BAIT) in Indiana who are qualified to conduct the trainings that the teachers must complete to be eligible for the program. Of those 45, 25 conservation officers and two civilian staff members of DLE have earned this level of training. An additional nine conservation officers are BAIs and one DLE instructor is a BAI -Specialist).

"This program has and will continue to make a strong impact on these students as well as everyone involved," Beck said.

The research will further investigate results of a 2004 study by Responsive Management of Harrisonburg, Va., that indicated that students who participated in NASP in their physical education classes liked school better. Results also showed improvements in behavior and attendance at school by participants.

The new study, which will be conducted by the same organization, is expected to take 12 months, and will also measure whether NASP student performance improved in other subject areas. The NASP Foundation Board has authorized Mark Duda, executive director of Responsive Management, to do the year-long project.

NASP has long been recognized as the most prolific shooter-recruitment program in history, but if the research findings support initial indications, the program not only helps develop future archers, it motivates students to succeed in their overall studies.

NASP has grown from humble beginnings in 22 Kentucky pilot schools in 2002 to more than 4,000 schools in 44 states, Canada and Australia. More than 2.3 million school children in grades 4-12 have received archery instruction from their physical education teachers through the program.

Other participating states include Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio. NASP plans to be operating in every state by the end of 2008.

NASP lessons are taught by the physical education teacher with a focus on international-style target archery. NASP teaches a lifetime skill in a controlled, safe environment. Universal- fit NASP equipment is useable by every 4th-12 th grade child and the teacher, and is durable, affordable and identical in appearance and function.

In order to meet and enhance student learning and accountability standards, many schools integrate archery into core content areas including math, science, and history.

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