From Tommy Floyd, NASP® President, former school administrator
One of the major reasons I joined the team of the NASP® was my personal observations on how the program positively affected students while I was a principal, then again as a superintendent. Participation in our program does not claim to increase math or reading scores but absolutely claims to positively enhance one important aspect of success in school; engagement.
Talk to any public educator and ask them about disengaged students and their success rates versus those that get involved and become a part of a school sponsored event or activity.
For those currently not involved in a school activity, what if they were to become connected to something that allowed them to:
- Experience personal success and self-confidence through acquiring a skill
- Become a contributing member of a team
- Gain insights into the benefits of sportsmanship, ethics, and other soft skills necessary to succeed in post-secondary life
- Experience the benefits of exposure to positive role models that nurture all of these attributes – that lead to success in other areas – including the relevance of classroom performance
Well there is such an opportunity to do all these things for students who participate…
The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP®) is a 501c3 organization and was first launched in 2002 and established to create an exciting opportunity to engage students and promote the shooting sports in schools. In order to participate in the NASP® tournament structure, archers must attend a school where teachers provide NASP® archery instruction during the school day. The aim was to ensure that all students in a NASP® school had the opportunity to discover target archery.
NASP® is the largest youth archery program in history. NASP® continues to grow at a rate of about 1000 schools per year. NASP® archery is taught in 70% of the nearly 14,000 NASP® schools as part of the PE curriculum. The other 30% of NASP® schools make it a part of math, science, language arts, social studies, health, etc. In some of the most successful NASP® schools, teachers collaborate in interdisciplinary teams to provide theme-based lessons that build on the enthusiasm that students have for in-school archery.
From earlier educator surveys it was discovered that teaching NASP® improves student concentration, motivation, engagement, and behavior. Some parents have said that their child always wants to attend when archery is on the calendar. Of the of students who take NASP® in school, 77% said that they had never touched a bow before.
If NASP® were only an after-school or club program, certain students might never be able to have that opportunity to discover archery. Many NASP® schools also have an after-school club. These clubs are often led by parents with a faculty sponsor and experience great participation.
In 2017, NASP® took another giant step in surveying actual students in our program. The results of this survey may help you as you review the data regarding academic questions that we raised.
Some important findings for educators:
58% of Surveyed NASP® students indicated that NASP® had helped them feel more connected with their school. (School connectedness is seen a major factor in dropout prevention and awareness).
40% of Surveyed NASP® students indicated that NASP® was a motivational factor for them to do better in the classroom. (Educators are looking for multiple ways to reach – previously under served populations of students- many NASP® students identify their participation as an integral part of their school experience and success).
76% of surveyed NASP® students indicated that someone in their school has talked to them about the importance of post-secondary readiness.
More than 31,000 students participated last year in the NASP® Academic Archer program in all jurisdictions. This program simply enables educators to leverage the existing interest in school archery to pursue and promote academic excellence in the classroom for students.
Like the 2017 student survey, the feedback from Academic Archer is extremely positive from educators indicating that it is achieving its intended goal of recognizing and promoting classroom excellence. Our current practice is to recognize Academic Archers at our national tournament events. It is indeed something we are most proud of at NASP®!
More information on NASP® Academic Archer can be found here
Why not NASP®?
NASP® might be THE program that you are looking for, to make a tremendously positive cultural impact on your school!
- NASP® is growing rapidly due to the positive impact it makes – wherever it begins – 47 NASP® States, 8 Canadian Provinces, & 11 Countries
- NASP® has an excellent safety record and is considered safer that most “ball sports.” Quality teacher training helps ensure student safety
- Students with disabilities often participate in NASP® with great success and finally find a way to connect and belong to their school.
- Regardless of location, parents again and again convey that NASP® was the first school sponsored program that their child truly became excited about participation in, and benefited from.
- Perhaps most importantly – NASP® continues to appeal again and again to a population of students that might have never become engaged in a school sponsored activity.
NASP® (National Archery in the Schools Program) is first and foremost an in-school program.
The first step to starting a NASP® program in your school is to get the school administration to agree to offer the program in the school during the school day (typically as part of a gym class).
Once the school has agreed to offer NASP® style archery, the next step will be to get the instructor(s) trained. NASP® Basic Archery Instructor (BAI) trainings are offered regularly throughout the year at many locations in each state. You can find a current list of classes on our website at https://naspbai.org/Classsearch.aspx . If you do not see a class that meets your needs, you can contact your state coordinator to request training. You can find a list of NASP® state coordinators here. If possible, it is always a good idea to train multiple people at a school. In addition to the teacher that will be teaching the archery class in school, you can also train interested parents, coaches (for an afterschool program/team), and other faculty at the school. This training will show you how to safely set up the range, teach the program and will answer most of your questions. The cost of the training will vary from state to state. The class listing should provide the cost of the training if a fee is charged. The fee will include the cost of the training packet.
Once you have been trained, the next step is to get your equipment. The equipment can be ordered directly from NASP®. A good way to start out is to purchase a standard archery kit. This kit will cost about $3200 depending on the equipment selected. This will allow up to 10 archers shoot at one time. It is purchased directly from the national NASP® office at a substantial savings over retail pricing. The standard kit includes 10 right-handed bows, 2 left-handed bows, 5 targets, 120 arrows, 1 safety curtain, 1 bow rack and one equipment repair box. The order forms can be found here
A lot of established NASP® schools are more than willing to assist you in getting started. You can also consider charging an activity fee for your after school program. At certain times of the year, some states are able to offer discounts for new schools that are starting the NASP® program.
How to remain a NASP® School
Each year, we ask each and every Basic Archery Instructor (BAI) to report their teaching activity on our BAI website: https://naspbai.org/default.aspx. We do this each year for every active school and every active BAI.
Program Integrity – NASP® works very hard to keep accurate training and programmatic records. We believe that it is essential to our continued to success to support “active” schools, mostly through their state or jurisdiction coordinator, to enable them to continue to introduce students to the life-long joy of archery. It is our goal to establish and maintain accurate records regarding the number of schools in our program.
Liability – One of the greatest statistics that NASP® enjoys sharing is our unblemished safety record. In order to keep all educators and coaches current in our data base and to ensure that those instructing students have experienced our quality BAI training, we maintain an accurate database on all of those in our system. Any time that a particular BAI drops off of our active list of certified instructors, we have developed protocols to reconnect and if at all possible re-establish our communication with each BAI.