Last summer, Craig Dukes, Physical Education coach at Whitaker wrote a grant proposal to the Ohio Division of Wildlife to develop an archery program at the elementary school. This grant proposal successfully secured funding for a program. The grant and the school administrators were able to purchase nearly $10,000 worth of equipment for Whitaker.
Fifth grade archers quickly began learning archery safety protocols and the eleven steps to successful shooting. After practicing with a string bow, the archers were finally able to begin using Genesis compound bows with Easton aluminum arrows.
At first, many young archers struggled to hit their targets. However after a few short weeks, those same archers are now hitting the bullseye.
It’s exciting to see our young archers shooting together. Half are releasing arrows into targets while the other half are patiently practicing with a string bow at the waiting line.
The students are gladly accepting the challenges of improving their shooting skills. They are calming their bodies and minds and learning to focus on their target. They are finding that archery not only needs physical strength but also mental strength. Just by practicing archery, young archers are learning patience, focus, and self-motivation.
Our fifth graders have found one more way to stay on target at school. Whitaker is now a member of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) and can participate in all it has to offer. We have already completed our first on-line tournament for in-school shooting and dozens of our archers qualified for honors as National Academic Archers. We’re looking forward to great things from our archers as we continue to offer archery in the elementary P.E. classes.