The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) and the Massachusetts Outdoor Heritage Foundation has partnered with the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) and the Archery Trade Association to promote student education and lifelong interest and participation in the sport of archery.
Utilizing an international-style target shooting program, NASP's goal is to provide school-age children with an exposure to a fun, alternative outdoor sport enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. NASP was initiated in Kentucky in 2002, and was adopted in Massachusetts in 2010. Currently Massachusetts has over 35 schools participating in the program.
NASP's two week curriculum is taught mostly in school physical education departments by NASP-trained educators. MassWildlife provides the necessary one-day certification training for teachers - typically physical education instructors - free of charge. The curriculum also includes activities relating to social studies, physics, and mathematics. Written by education, conservation, and target archery professionals the NASP Units of Study meet state and national educational standards.
Not only does archery improve hand-eye coordination, studies have shown that because archery exercise is not dependent on physical size or strength for success, students usually less proficient in physical activities experience positive outcomes through developing new archery skills. Other benefits include increased respect, admiration, and camaraderie with fellow students.
My PE class already has an archery program; how is NASP different?
- The Genesis Bow used in the NASP has no set draw length or weight, which makes it easy to draw and use for anyone, regardless of their height or muscle strength.
- The program was specifically created to be set up in a gym. The equipment and safety procedures make this program safe for both the participants and your gymnasium.
- More youth participate in NASP nationally than participate in little league, and it still has a perfect safety record!
- And not only is the equipment superior to a standard gym class, but the curriculum is as well. The NASP® has a curriculum written by education, conservation, and target-archery experts which includes a required 8-hour Basic Archery Instructor Course so that every program in every state is taught with the same equipment, education and safety standards.
How do I start this program at my school?
1. School administrators must agree to:
Teach NASP® as part of the in-school curriculum for any grades between 4 – 12 and use NASP® equipment and follow NASP® safety standards
2. Schools must participate in NASP® Basic Archery Instructor Certification
DFW provides the 8-hour certification training for teachers-typically physical education instructors free of charge!
This training is completely free thanks to donations from the Safari Club International, New England Foundation to pay for the training packets.
The one-day training includes classroom instruction, shooting, and an exam.
3. Schools Agree to Purchase a Basic Archery Kit or Use Our New Loaner Kit!
The NASP® kit comes with 11 Genesis bows, 144 arrows, 5 targets, 2 bow racks, an arrow curtain, an equipment repair/tool kit and two BAI training packets. Thanks to support from the archery industry, equipment kits valued at over $6,000.00 may be purchased by the schools for approximately $3000. Schools also have the option of using a loaner kit, free of charge, that can be used for 2 weeks a semester which is the time it takes to implement the curriculum.
$3,000 is a lot of money; are there any grants or ways to raise the money?
There are grants available from organizations such as the Easton Foundation and the New England Chapter of the Safari Club International. Many sportsmen’s clubs, county leagues, and individuals have also helped schools fundraise in the community and have donated money to fund NASP® kits for local schools. A school can also use the loaner kit which is the full kit that is brought to the school for the two weeks it takes to implement the curriculum.
Can more than one school use the same kit?
Yes; the curriculum for NASP is 2 weeks long, so school districts can use the same kit and move it around between different schools.
Currently, we also have loaner kits that can be used by any school in the state. Please contact the NASP® state coordinator for more information.