The RI DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife is pleased to announce the official launch of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP®), bringing the sport of Olympic-style target archery to nine Rhode Island schools and counting, and the next generation of young academic athletes.
Established just over 20 years ago in Kentucky middle-school gymnasiums, NASP has promoted the instruction in international-style target archery as an in-school program for grades 4-12 nationwide through a 48-state collaboration under the guidance of a national leadership team and state wildlife agencies.
“Archery is a sport accessible to anyone,” said Branton Elleman, RI DEM’s team member coordinating the NASP® RI program. “Since its inception two decades ago, NASP® has safely helped students learn skills required to be successful both in the classroom and in life, such as focus, self-control, discipline, and patience. With a standardized set of lessons and equipment put to use during school hours and opportunities for scholastic tournaments and post-secondary scholarships, NASP® also opens the door to competitive sport for those who never found their place in ‘traditional’ athletic pursuits. While DEM has always promoted archery as a safe, accessible sport and hobby, we are excited to be partnering with the NASP® organization to offer this opportunity to Rhode Island teachers and schools.”
NASP is typically taught as part of a Physical Education class by the students’ usual teacher over the course of two weeks. However, archery isn’t limited to being part of physical education and can also be incorporated into other classes with the right scheduling, time, and space. After school clubs can also supplement in-school teaching and provide a space for competitive teams to practice for state or national tournaments, often with scholarship opportunities. Seeing the many benefits the program could bring to RI students, the Division of Fish & Wildlife began the coordination of the program in late 2022 – early 2023 and have been working to expand the roster of active schools since.
Rhode Island schools who participated in the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s inaugural NASP certification class include:
- Chariho Middle School, Chariho
- Cranston West High School, Cranston
- Cranston East High School, Cranston
- Hugh B Bain, Cranston
- Park View Middle School, Cranston
- Central Elementary School, Lincoln
- Northern Elementary School, Lincoln
- Frank E Thompson Middle School, Newport
- Rocky Hill Country Day School, Warwick
Joining the program starts with motivated teachers. Interested teachers and schools should contact the RI Division of Fish and Wildlife to learn more about how the program operates and how the program could fit within their curricula and facility. Once their school administration approves the program, teachers who will be facilitating the NASP curricula are required to attend a Basic Archery Instructor (BAI) certification training offered through the Division of Fish & Wildlife.
Over an 8-hour class, or 4-hour field day following online training, teachers learn more about the program’s history, the many proven benefits to student confidence and behavior, and specific coaching instruction. Once certified, arrangements are made where the RI Division of Fish and Wildlife will lend a standardized NASP archery kit to the school to utilize long-term and free of charge.
If you are a grade 4-12 Rhode Island teacher, or know one who might be interested, and are curious about the NASP program, contact the RI NASP Coordinator, Branton Elleman, at [email protected] or 401-575-6331.