February 7, 2023

We Should All Pay Attention To This And Take A Lesson

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The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources is announcing that there are now more than 100 schools that will be teaching archery this fall when the kids return.

When the school year begins this fall, students from 100 schools around the state will be participating in the West Virginia Archery in the Schools Program, according to Scott Warner, Program Coordinator for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

DNR began its pilot program in the fall of 2004 with only 19 schools. Since then the program has experienced a tremendous amount of interest from teachers around the state. In fact, this interest has allowed DNR to host trainings in every region of the state, reaching 156 teachers from 100 schools. Because of the success of this program, last May the DNR hosted its first State Archery Tournament at Capital High School where 300 students from 23 schools around the state participated.

“The Archery in the Schools Program has become one of DNR’s largest and fastest growing educational programs, reaching thousands of kids within the first two years,” Warner said. “Working with the Department of Education, wildlife organizations, and teachers, we’ve been able to bring an activity into the physical education class that anyone can participate in (no matter their size) and teach a skill that can be enjoyed throughout a lifetime.”

West Virginia is one of 38 states that are participating in this national program, with similar success being experienced by state wildlife agencies throughout the country. However, West Virginia’s DNR received national attention when the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind became the first school in the nation for the hearing and sight impaired to participate in this program. “We have had archery as part of our curriculum in the past, but not at this level, and the opportunity for our students to participate side-by-side with other students at a statewide archery tournament was terrific,” said Bob Haines, Physical Education instructor for the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind. “In fact, two of our girls finished first and second place in their division and my students are already excited about participating in next year’s tournament.”

“We knew that this program was going to be a success when we started two years ago,” Warner said. “However, we didn’t expect to reach this many schools so fast. A lot of work has gone into reaching this point and a lot of credit needs to be given to the teachers and volunteers who believe in this program. Special thanks also need to be given to wildlife organizations such as the West Virginia Bowhunters Association, the National Wild Turkey Federation and the West Virginia Trophy Hunters Association for their financial donations; without them we wouldn’t have been able to reach as many schools.”

“Seeing the excitement in a kid when he or she shoots a bow for the first time, though the arrow may not have hit anywhere near the center of the target, then seeing them win their division at a State archery tournament a few months later, you understand why this program has grown so fast,” Warner concluded.

Teachers interested in participating in this program, or wildlife organizations wanting to make a donation are encouraged to visit DNR’s Web site at www.wvdnr.gov or call (304) 558-2771.

Tom Remington