February 23, 2004
Contact: Roy Grimes
Frankfort, KY (February 23, 2004) -- Archery in the schools, a program
started in Kentucky, will expand nationwide thanks to $200,000 in donations from
the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) headquartered in Edgefield, S.C., and
Mathews Inc., an archery manufacturer in Sparta, Wisconsin.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, an agency of the
Kentucky Commerce Cabinet, has been notified that it will be getting help to
expand a Kentucky archery program across America.
More than 100,000 Kentucky boys and girls at 200 Kentucky schools have
learned target archery since the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife
Resources started the program in 2002. The program has had cooperation from the
Kentucky Department of Education. Several other states have started their own
programs modeled after Kentucky’s archery program, resulting in the creation
of the National Archery in the Schools Program.
Officials from Mathews and the National Wild Turkey Federation officials
pledged $100,000 each to the National Archery in the Schools Program at the
Archery Trade Association’s trade show held in Indianapolis, Ind. The
donations will accelerate the expansion of school archery programs throughout
“This is a chance to help launch a program that will introduce students to
archery,” said National Wild Turkey Federation CEO Rob Keck. “The NWTF is
pleased to put this money toward a growing program that will have a positive
impact on students and teachers.”
Mathews Inc. has previously pledged or donated $500,000 to the program. The
company, involved since the school archery program’s inception, has donated
equipment to the schools, provided technical assistance and helped train
teachers with two-time Olympic archery winner Rod White.
“What nobody anticipated is the profound effect that archery would have in
transforming the lives of students who weren’t the fastest, the strongest or
the most athletic,” said Matt McPherson, head of Mathews Inc.
While the turkey federation is making the national archery program a
priority, the excitement of the pilot program in Kentucky is sweeping into
education systems across the country.
"The archery industry, archery enthusiasts and educators around the
country are very excited about this program," said Roy Grimes, coordinator
of the National Archery in the Schools Program for the Kentucky Department of
Fish and Wildlife Resources. "Our goal is to make this program a
possibility for students in at least 30 states over the next five years."
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources surveyed 1,600
students during the state's pilot program and found that archery can open doors
to a number of new possibilities. Sixty percent of students wanted to become
target archers, 38 percent wanted to try bowhunting and 89 percent of the
students enjoyed the archery instruction after participating in archery courses.
Teachers participating in the program also report that the archery curriculum
improves student's self esteem, behavior and attention span.
"The students absolutely love it," said Connie Shackleford, the
Kentucky Department of Education’s P.E. Curriculum Consultant. "I've been
involved in health and physical education for more than 27 years and I've never
seen a program that has grown this quickly. Student's behavior has been affected
in a positive way. The curriculum is both structured and fun."
The national archery program offers an Olympic-style target archery program
to physical education students from 4th to 12th grades.
Before presenting the two-week archery course, educators undergo an 8 to
12-hour National Archery Association Level I archery-training program. The core
curriculum covers archery history, safety, technique, equipment, mental
concentration and self-improvement. Kids shoot at bull’s-eye targets placed
before an arrow resistant net in their gymnasium, and equipment used is
state-of-the-art and designed to fit every student.
“This is a sport that students can take with them for the rest of
their lives ” said Dick Rosenlieb, National Wild Turkey Federation vice
president of sales and marketing. “Students have the opportunity to learn from
top-rate instructors that will use archery as their tool.”
The federation’s JAKES, (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and
Sportsmanship) outreach program for youths 17-years-old and younger is one more
reason the group has committed to the archery in the schools program. In 2003
alone, more than 45,000 children across North America attended over 600 National
Wild Turkey Federation field day events which included archery, shooting,
camping and other outdoor activities.
“The NWTF’s support of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP)
is one more way that JAKES members or non-members can get involved in archery,”
said Christine Rolka, JAKES program education supervisor. “Both JAKES and NASP
offer children educational opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have.”
For more information about the National Archery in the Schools Program,
contact Roy Grimes, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources at
For more information about the National Wild Turkey Federation, contact James
Powell or Jonathan Harling at 1-800-THE-NWTF.
About the NWTF: In 1973 when the National Wild Turkey Federation was
founded, there were an estimated 1.3 million wild turkeys and 1.5 million turkey
hunters. Thanks to the work of wildlife agencies and the NWTF’s many
volunteers and partners, today there are more than 6 million wild turkeys and
approximately 2.6 million turkey hunters. Since 1985, more than $175 million
NWTF and cooperator dollars have been spent on over 24,000 projects benefiting
wild turkeys throughout North America.
The NWTF is a half million-member grassroots, nonprofit organization with
members in 50 states and 12 foreign countries. It supports scientific wildlife
management on public, private and corporate lands as well as wild turkey hunting
as a traditional North American sport.
For more information on the National Wild Turkey Federation, call (803)
637-3106, check out our web site at www.nwtf.org
or e-mail questions to email@example.com.