From Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
-- Over 100 schools across the state have enrolled in the Oklahoma Archery in the Schools program (OAIS), which offers competitive archery to students, and coordinators of the program say available grant money could make it easy for other schools to join up as well.
The program is coordinated by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and is part of a national program that creates partnerships between state wildlife agencies, schools and the nation's archery industry to introduce students to the sport of archery.
The program curriculum is designed for 4th-12th graders and covers archery history, safety, techniques, equipment, mental concentration and self-improvement.
"The program is really taking off across the state, but there is still plenty of opportunity for more schools to get involved," said Lance Meek, OAIS coordinator for the Wildlife Department. "Thanks to a Wildlife Department grant, schools can now get involved in the program for a fraction of the cost of the equipment."
The grant is available for schools to acquire all the equipment, including bows, arrows, targets, safety nets, curriculum and training necessary to begin an OAIS program in their communities at little or no cost.
"If any teacher is interested in bringing the program to their school, they should give me a call," Meek said.
About 6,500 Oklahoma students participated in the program last year, 400 of which attended the OAIS state tournament held at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.
But that number is dwarfed compared to the 800-900 students expected to compete in this year's state tournament slated for April 3 at UCO. Students have the opportunity to win trophies, medals and other prizes at the state tournament as well as throughout the season.
In order to be eligible for a grant, the school must send a teacher to an eight-hour workshop where they will learn how to conduct the program at their school and instruct students in archery.
Teachers interested in learning more about the OAIS program or in starting an OAIS program at their school should contact Meek at (405) 522-4572 or firstname.lastname@example.org.