National Archery in the Schools Program
The National Archery in the Schools Program, also commonly referred to as NASP, was created in order to educate children about the basics of target shooting. This program began when the Department of Education started searching for ways to enhance the attention, attendance, behavior and focus of their students. Through teaming up with the Kentucky Departments of Fish and Wildlife Resources, the NASP was created as a way to enhance the school lives of participating children. The NASP program was launched in early March, 2002, within a year of its launch, the program had been implemented across over 120 schools and catered to year levels between grades 4 and 12.
What is NASP? And What Is Their Mission?
The NASP is dedicated to teaching a generation of children the benefits of outdoors activities, the program initially considered several other sports like; fishing, hunting, hiking and catching animals as a way to engage children before they settled on the idea of teaching children the basics of archery. As the program developed and became more than a physical education program, the creators of the program came up with a mission statement, “Promote the teaching of target archery as a part of the in-school curriculum to improve educational performance of students and encourage their participation in the shooting sports.” Since its development, the program has grown steadily and today, it has interest in over 12 000 schools across 5 different countries and teaches the basics of archery to over a million students every year.
There are three branches to the design of the NASP, these three components being; the archery curriculum, teacher training and universal fit. The archery curriculum features units of study that were written and revised by educational, conservational and target archery experts to meet the educational standards of a school based program. These units of study were created to be included in a participating school’s physical education program but in some cases, schools have included the program in their history, language or art programs.
The NASP instructor training program was developed so that teachers in participating schools would be able to carry out the requirements of the program and supervise the students to keep all participants of the program safe including; students, instructors and bystanders/spectators. To date, the program has certified over 22 000 people to instruct these courses and this number is steadily increasing.
The universal fit aspect of the program means that the program is designed to cater to every student that participates, not just the ones who are good at archery, within the program, learning the process of shooting is more important than the scores that are gained during this process.
The NASP program has also authorized the use of only a single type of arrow within the program, the NASP Easton Full Length Aluminum Arrows. These arrows are 30 inches in length, feature 7075 aerospace alloy (the same grade of aluminum used in the creation of aircraft and other aeronautical equipment) a nickel plated target point. These arrows are very lightweight and can withstand a large amount of punishment, due to the fact that these are aluminum arrows they can also be bent back into shape if they are shot into a harder surface and warp under the impact pressure. The nocks and vanes of the arrows can be easily replaced if they undergo strenuous hardship and replacement parts are readily available.