WARREN, NJ - Twenty-four young archers at Angelo L. Tomaso will compete at the national level in May, showcasing the elementary school’s champion archery team and archery curriculum for a 5th consecutive year.
The ALT 4th and 5th graders will be among more than 13,000 archers at the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) tournament in Louisville, Kentucky on May 11-13, 2017. The school boasts the top 10 elementary male archers and five of the top ten female performers in New
Jersey. Fifth grader Scott Drews scored eighth in the state competition out of all male elementary, middle and high school archers.
“Our program started in 2013, with the help of the PTO,” says ALT physical education teacher Douglas Clark, who runs the archery program. “I wanted to start the program for the love of the sport and for the benefits it offers such as a lifetime skill that anyone of any age and ability level can participate in well into adulthood, even with physical limitations. Archery encourages focus, strength, concentration and self-control.”
Clark is a NASP-certified instructor trained to use whistle signals to move students to various taped lines on the range floor to “get bows,” “shoot,” and “go get arrows.” Through the NASP training program, instructors learn how to teach the “Eleven Steps to Archery Success,” including archer form, shot execution and follow-through. Safety is paramount; teachers are shown how to set up and operate a safe archery range in their school.
“Some people, at first, question the safety and management of the unit,” says Clark. “NASP has incorporated how to manage the behavior of students within the curriculum. Archery, as a sport, is considered the third safest sport behind ping pong and badminton.”
The ALT archers demonstrated their skill at the March 6 meeting of the Warren Township Board of Education, where board members and administrators tried their hand with the bow and arrow.
“It was great to have the opportunity to experience the archery program firsthand. The enthusiasm shown by the students and Mr. Clark is contagious,” says superintendent Matthew Mingle.
“This program is a prime example of physical education. It is a truly educational experience that requires the fusion of mental and physical skills,” says ALT principal Christine Smith. “Students own their learning with self-assessment and peer support that makes them hungry for more!”
Clark says the program has been met with “much enthusiasm and success” with five state championships and attendance at 4 national competitions. “This is one interscholastic unit that all students look forward to one day, participating as they reach 4th and 5th grade,” he says.
PHOTO #1 - Angelo L. Tomaso School’s Archery Club takes aim as members of the archery team prepare to compete at the national level in May.
PHOTO #2 - ALT 5th grader Scott Drews scored 8th in the state competition out of all male elementary, middle and high school archers.
PHOTO #3 - Members of the ALT Archery Club with principal Christine Smith (L) and club advisor Douglas Clark. Some members of the club will travel to Kentucky in May to compete at the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) tournament in Kentucky in May.