Over the next few weeks, the sixth, seventh and eighth graders will have the opportunity to try something new in physical education classes--archery. With the help of their gym teacher, Bill Flaherty, the students are learning about aiming, shooting, scoring and safety.
Trinity began the archery program several years ago, with a grant from the National Archery in School Program (NASP). Through the grant, the school was able to purchase the equipment needed for archery, as well as protective equipment to make sure no one gets accidentally injured.
The NASP states that the archery program "improves student concentration, motivation, engagement and behavior. Some parents tell us that their child always want to attend when archery is on the calendar."
Seventh grader Will had two bullseye shots in class last week. He has experience with archery, but has never had two bullseye shots in a row. Will said he participated in Trinity's program when he was in fifth grade through his physical education class. He is also in Boy Scouts and has tried archery there as well. In addition, he goes hunting.
"It's fun to do. It requires a lot of concentration and is a different type of activity for gym," said Will.
Safety was the most important thing the students learned. During each class, the gym is closed to others, a safety curtain was draped across the room and the students had certain rules to follow to keep themselves out of harm's way. The students proceed to the archery line only when instructed and all other students stand at a safe distance. No one moves to retrieve arrows until all students are done with their shots and Mr. Flaherty has instructed them that it is clear to move.
Students also learn how to keep score and can tally up their own points.
Several students have found they enjoy archery as well. After our last round of archery, several students got their own bow to practice at home.