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“Not everyone can dunk the ball, tackle, or run fast. However, as a young lady from Hubbertville School said, “I can do this!”
A physical education curriculum entitled, Archery: “On Target for Life” was started by the Kentucky Department’s of Education and Kentucky Fish & Wildlife Resources in the spring of 2002. A similar program was implemented in 16 of Alabama"s middle schools in 2003.
Approximately 75 Alabama middle schools applied for inclusion in the pilot program conducted during the spring of 2003. A committee comprised of State Department of Education and Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries employees picked two schools from each of the eight state school districts for inclusion in the program. The Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries provided the equipment to each of the 16 pilot schools.
Designed to teach Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) style archery programs to 4th-12th grades as part of an in school curriculum to improve educational performance and participation. Core content covers archery history, safety, technique, equipment, mental concentration, and self-improvement. Before presenting the 2-week archery course, teachers undergo a 8-hour National Archery in the Schools Program archery-training program.
Students shoot at bullseye targets placed before an arrow resistant net in their gymnasium. Equipment used is state-of-the art and designed to fit every student. Thanks to support from the archery industry, the $6,000 equipment “kits” can be purchased by schools for $3,067. The goal of this program is to provide 4-12th grade school children with the ingredients to become involved in a life skill that has no barriers. Unlike many school activities, students of all sizes can easily be involved in archery.
Teachers from approximately 800 schools have completed the training workshop. Approximately 400 schools have purchased the standard school kit and have implemented the NASP as part of the physical education curriculum.
Teachers report that students are enthusiastic about learning archery and that their behavior and attendance is improved on archery days. Furthermore, students that historically resisted PE classes are eager to participate in archery and those who excel in archery class are not necessarily the stereotypical athletes.
Click here to download an Archery Trade Association (ATA) pdf brochure on school archery programs
To learn more about the program and to make this physical education curriculum available to your student body contact Marisa Futral, Hunter Education Coordinator of the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division at 1-800-245-2740 or e-mail Marisa.Futral@dcnr.alabama.gov.