The Oklahoma Archery in the Schools Program (OKNASP) welcomed its 500th participating school, Edmond North High School, during the regular April meeting of the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The program that brings archery education into the schools has seen tremendous growth since its inception in 2004. Schools in both rural and urban settings have embraced OKNASP, said Colin Berg, education supervisor with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. A video of the recent state shoot is included in this story.
“This program began back in 2004 with 700 students, and last year – 12 years later – we had more than 46,000 students in OKNASP,” Berg said. He also noted the number of students competing in state tournaments has climbed from 125 initially to about 3,300 this past year.
Edmond North High School counselor Alan Wishard, the school’s OKNASP instructor, and Assistant Principal Chris Helling were on hand to accept a special plaque recognizing their school’s participation. Jay Rouk, OKNASP coordinator for the Wildlife Department, presented the plaque and shared with Commissioners how he went from a schoolteacher who started OKNASP in his school to eventually coordinating the program statewide.
Edmond North is the third school Wishard has brought into OKNASP, and he praised the program for it’s many positive influences on students, especially in its ability to improve behavioral issues among participants.
Roy Grimes, president of the National Archery in the Schools Program, sent a video to congratulate Rouk and OKNASP for reaching the 500-school milestone.
A video of the program follows:
“The OKNASP program allows our special needs students to participate on an even playing field with their peers.”
– Carla Buck, Physical Education Teacher, Mustang Public Schools
“Teaching Archery to Elementary & Middle School students has added diversity and excitement to P.E. class! It has brought our students, parents, teachers & community together & the excitement is contagious! ”
– Misti Mitchell-Bain, Comanche Public School P.E. Director/Teacher
“While teaching the OKNASP course curriculum I noticed that student attendance was near 100 percent and the students’ self discipline was greatly improved.”
-Colby Cagle, Teacher, Bethel Public Schools