National Archery in the Schools Program
The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) is a cooperative effort between state conservation departments, school systems and private organizations to help engage young citizens in outdoor activities and participate in the enduring sport of archery. The program promotes student education, physical education, and lifelong participation in archery. Since its inception in March 2002, more than 4 million students at over 8,500 schools located in 47 states and 9 other countries have participated in NASP. New York was the 44th state to implement the program and school participation continues to grow each year. In New York, 237 schools from 131 school districts participate in the program and over 34,000 students participated in the program during the 2013-2014 school year.
NASP-New York is dedicated to providing quality instruction, information, and support for implementation of archery in physical education curriculums for grades 4-12. Safety and a positive atmosphere for students are emphasized. The program helps build muscle, endurance, and flexibility, and helps develop hand-eye-coordination, grip, and body strength. Archery is a non-discriminatory sport and can be taught through this program to almost any student of nearly any age or skill level. Educators report that NASP "engages the unengaged" and inspires students to greater achievement in school.
Michael Sharp, a physical education teacher at Schroon Lake Central School, in Essex County said: "NASP is probably the best program that I have ever introduced into my curriculum; it inspires all types of students to participate. The kids absolutely love it!"
State and National Tournaments
The overall top female archer in the tournament, Megan Hall
The sixth annual school-based state tournament was a great success with 607 students from 21 school districts participating in this competition during the first two weeks of March. A school-based tournament is where the students compete at their respective schools and send their scores to the NASP state coordinator. Each competitor could achieve a maximum score of 300 points. There are three divisions: High School, grades 9-12; Middle School, grades 6-8; and Elementary School, grades 4-5.The overall top female archer in the tournament was Megan Hall with a score of 272; she attends Schroon Lake High School in Essex County. The top male archer in the tournament was Jaird Paninski with a score of 286; he attends Altmar-Parish-Williamstown High School in Oswego County. Each received a plaque, a trophy for display at their school, a Genesis bow, a Morrell target and a dozen arrows. Awards are also given out in each of the three divisions for first through fifth places.
The top male archer in the tournament, Jaird Paninski
There were 36 students from 11 New York schools that attended the 2014 national NASP tournament in May in Kentucky. There were over 10,000 participants from 39 states that competed at the national tournament. Tracey Engle, a physical education teacher at Jordan Elbridge and one of the chaperones for the six students who attended the national tournament in 2011, stated that "The national tournament was a great experience that all competitive students should strive to achieve and my students would not have had the experience if it had not been for the National Archery in Schools Program."
DEC is looking for volunteers to assist in training physical education teachers for NASP. If anyone is interested in volunteering or knows of a school that would like to join the program, please contact Melissa Bailey, the state program coordinator for NASP-NY at 315-793-2515 or via email at email@example.com.