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.
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.
In order for a school to participate in NASP, school administrators must approve participation in the program.
Schools also commit to the following:
- Teach NASP as part of the school's in-school curriculum for grades 4 through 12.
- Provide annual reports of NASP student participant numbers to the Division.
- Use NASP equipment and follow NASP teaching standards (includes a teacher training requirement and certification as NASP Basic Archery Instructors)
Equipment Needed: At least one NASP basic archery instruction kit. The NASP kit includes 11 bows, 122 arrows, 5 targets, an arrow curtain, a bow rack, and an equipment repair/tool kit. The kit is approximately $3,000.
To assist schools, sportsmen's groups, area businesses, and non-profit organizations with an interest in promoting young peoples' exposure to outdoor activities have successfully led their local schools' fundraising efforts for NASP kits.
Currently 15 schools are participating in the Massachusetts program:
Brockton High School
Burncoat Middle School, Worcester
Douglas High School
John F. Kennedy Middle School, Northampton
Lee High School
Mahar Regional School District, Orange
Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational High, Wakefield
Saugus Middle and High Schools
Wahconah Regional High School, Dalton
Westport Middle School
Longmeadow High School
South Berkshire County Regional School, Sheffield
Pittsfield High School
Farmington River Regional School
East Bridgewater School District
West Bridgewater Elementary School