Remsen Central School offers successful archery program

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The Remsen Central School’s NASP (National Archery in the Schools Program) is bridging barriers to bring archery to students.

NASP promotes instruction in international-style target archery as part of in-school program during gym class. Dale Dening, the athletic director at Remsen Central School, is responsible for the implementation of the program.

“It is part of our physical education curriculum which is covered each year,” Dening said. “NASP is an activity that doesn’t discriminate based on popularity, athletic skill, gender, size or academic ability. It’s a different kind of activity and it’s open to any student. The National Archery in the Schools Program aims at improving educational performance among students in grades 4-12. Although, our program here at Remsen is for students only in grades in 7-12th grades.And through it, students are learning focus, self-control, discipline, patience, and the life lessons required to be successful in the classroom and in life.”

The NASP program was introduced at Remsen in 2012. This is the program’s ninth year there. To bring the program to Remsen, it first had to be presented to the Administration and Board of Education. Once approved,the high school athletic department staff then had to undergo specific training to qualify to instruct the program.

“At the time it was introduced, myself and Alisha Prunoske (who was the other PE teacher at the time) had to attend the NASP Basic Archery Instructor training that was held at Clinton High School,” Dening said. “This type of training shows how to safely set up a target range, teach the program and answer any questions that we had regarding NASP. The cost of the class was covered by the New York State Department of Conservation which included the class training, the instructor’s packet and the equipment for school (12 bows, a bow rack, 5 targets, 5 dozen arrows, and a drop curtain to place behind the targets.)”

Key community members also had a role in bringing the archery program to the school.

“A huge part of bringing the NASP program to Remsen was the support of the Steuben Fish and Game Club,” Dening said. “John Williams, who was the President of the club at that time, was a big supporter of archery and the outdoor sports.Each year, the Steuben Fish and Game Club generously donates a monetary amount in the memory of John Williams for our NASP programand it’s students.Through their donations, we have had assistance in purchasing arrows, extra targets and bows to help in the instruction of our curriculum.”

Williams son, Brandon Williams is the current President of the Steuben Fish and Game Club.

“When my Dad passed in 2015 my family asked that memorial contributions be made to the Steuben Fish and Game Club for the youth program,” he said. “The Club decided to use that money for the archery program at Remsen because my Dad loved bow hunting.”

The program has become a favorite among students.

“The feedback from our students has been tremendous,” Dening said. “They look forward to this part of our curriculum each year.I typically hold the archery unit towards the end of October and continue it through November.My greatest amount of participation by the students in PE is during the archery unit. About 95-99 percent of the students in the classes participate if not on a medical excuse, which is very rare.”

Part of that success comes from the program being adaptable to students of different abilities.

“The NASP program is a universal fit for our students because it works for everyone,” Dening said. “The archery equipment used in NASP is highly standardized to be safe, durable, economical, and most importantly, retro fits to every student in grades 7 through 12.In NASP, learning the process of shooting is stressed far more than the arrow scores.The only bow used in NASP is a Genesis compound bow which has no let-off and is adjustable from 10-20 pounds in draw weight.We have both left-handed and right-handed bows. This has resulted in a highly successful program here at Remsen.”

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