The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP®) is a non-profit organization founded in Kentucky, nearly two decades ago, that continues to serve millions of students in thousands of schools across 12 countries.
In order for students to participate in NASP® the young person’s school has to adopt the activity as part of its in-school curriculum, most often the physical education class. The teacher must undergo a one-day workshop to become a Basic Archery Instructor. Then the school needs to acquire the basic archery equipment kit to teach and practice archery. Each kit contains 12 Genesis Bows, 10 dozen Easton arrows, 1 BCY backstop curtain, a bow rack, and 5 target butts by any of the four that are approved for use in NASP®; Morrell, Feradyne, Rinehart, and/or American Whitetail Targets. Most vendors that regularly work with NASP® provide their product at greatly discounted wholesale prices. Still it costs approximately $3000 to outfit a typical physical education class of 24-30 students. To help ease these costs, NASP® began offering equipment grants a decade ago. Just under half of the nearly 1,000 schools that join the program each year, benefit from the grant program.
Thanks to generous donations from Easton Foundations and BassPro/Cabelas, the average grant awarded to a new NASP® school is about $800. Marisa Lee Futral, from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources sheds light on the effect that NASP® grant rewards have on a PE class. “The NASP® equipment grants have been essential for helping our Alabama schools purchase the start-up equipment. The PE budget in most of our schools is $500 a year; therefore, purchasing this equipment would be nearly impossible without donations and grants. We rarely see a school purchase a NASP® kit without some type of assistance, either from these grants or from local donations, or in many cases both.”
Since 2010, $2,790,000 in equipment grants has been awarded, spread among 4,219 schools. By the time this year’s grant allocation period is complete, more than $283,000 and 456 new and existing NASP® schools will be added to these totals. Roy Grimes, President and CEO for NASP® explains the importance of these grants and the positive effects archery has on the students. “During our most recent teacher reporting period last year, each school enrolled in NASP® provided archery lessons to an average of 152 students. More than two-thirds of these students reported that NASP® is the reason they discovered their interest and aptitude of archery.”
Needless to say, when a school decides to add NASP® to their curriculum, they’re getting more than just another sport. They’re getting an all-inclusive activity in which almost every 4-12th grade student can participate. Jared Prewitt, Security Director and Educator for New Hope Christian School in Neenah, WI, provided this sentiment. “The NASP ®grant has allowed New Hope Christian School to provide an activity that is outside of the realm of traditional sports. Archery is something that every student can learn and benefit from using different skills than you would find on a field or court. It helps build confidence, patience, and the tenacity needed to function in today’s high stress world. It’s also a sport that is already designed so that it can be done with social distance in mind should that need arise. Archery is not only a fun sport, but it’s one that a student can learn from, each and every time they pick up a bow. We are very thankful for the grant and the opportunity to share archery with our students for years to come! Thank you!”
The 2020 NASP® spring season has been a little different this year due to social distancing precautions. The 2021 archery season is just around the corner and students look forward to using their new equipment to learn and hone their skills. For more information on NASP® news and updates, go to www.naspschools.org.