By Brittany Jones
Nashville, TN -(AmmoLand.com)- Confidence, camaraderie, good sportsmanship, and motivation are attributes students, who participate in the National Archery in the School Program (NASP), gain year after year.
Every year, NASP students earn the opportunity to gather from around the world to display their new archery skills, as they compete for top honors at NASP’s national and world tournaments. Of course, these skills aren’t born on the tournament shooting line. They begin much closer to home.
Jason Gambrel, a Physical Education (PE) Teacher from Hayden Elementary School in Hayden, Indiana, is a NASP teacher and coach whose elementary team won second place in the elementary division at the world tournament this summer.
Jason says, “Growing up outdoors, shooting archery was a common activity for me. In today’s society, I never thought I would be able to teach archery in the school.”
Jason was surprised and elated when he discovered that a school archery program had been developed and implemented in Kentucky.
He says, “I knew opportunity was there and a dream became reality.”
Jason not only teaches physical education to his students but, is thrilled to be teaching archery, a sport he loves.
After talking to Jason about how the program has affected he and his students, it is no surprise that NASP has had a positive impact. This is what the program was designed to do.
According to Jason, “students have gained a dedication to practice and sportsmanship, and they enjoy the cultural exchange experienced by participating at national and world tournaments.”
He and his students have also learned perseverance and goal setting, something imbedded during school practices and competitions. One of the great things about NASP is that these characteristics learned thru NASP will be carried with them throughout life.
Jason commented on how the program gives his students a feeling of “self-respect” and “self-worth”. One aspect of NASP that is so gratifying, is it gives students who lack confidence in particular areas, an opportunity to excel in a sport and a hobby that they can feel good about.
Not only have Hayden students excelled in physical education and archery, but in other subjects as well. Teachers at Hayden commented that improvements in behavior, motivation, and attention to detail in their class work, have resulted from participation in NASP.
Jason says, “The learning to master archery skills, help the students become well-rounded individuals. We hold very high expectations from those who become members of our Hayden Sharpshooters, including exemplary behavior and performance. Homework must be completed on time, and everything is to be done THE HAYDEN WAY!”
After students have had a mind-enriching day at school, they go home where parents also notice the positive change in their son or daughter’s abilities and attitudes.
It is no wonder that Hayden Elementary has been so successful in NASP-style archery. Not only are the students hard working and determined to do their best, they have coaches, parents, and educators who stand behind them. They have been taught what it means to be a team, and because of this, Hayden has won many NASP Tournament Spirit Awards, as well! NASP has grown and spread throughout Jennings County, Indiana, like wild fire. Over just a few years, NASP has been implemented in all county schools and the Mayor of North Vernon even declared April 4 to be Jennings County NASP Day. Way to go Jennings County and Hayden Elementary!
“NASP certainly lives up to its motto to change lives one arrow at a time,” says Gambrel.
NASP is proud to have Hayden’s parents, teachers, and students apart of its program! Until next year, keep shooting THE HAYDEN WAY.
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About National Archery in the Schools Program:
The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) promotes student education, physical education and participation in the lifelong sport of Archery. The mission of NASP is to promote international-style target archery as part of the in-school curriculum, to improve educational performance and participation in the shooting sports among students in grades 4-12.
For more information, please visit www.NASPSchools.org.