Quick: What sport cause more injuries to kids every year — pingpong or archery? Hint: It isn’t archery. A school program in Grand Junction is helping ensure it stays that way.
The Colorado Archery in Schools Program follows strict guidelines outlined by its parent national program to bring archery to schools safely.
“It’s very regimented and safe,” says Kathleen Tadvick, education coordinator for Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Northwest region. “It’s run through whistle commands that the students learn.”
The program, in place in Grand Junction since 2010, has faced challenges, but Tadvick says it still is growing.
When the program first began, many physical education teachers were trained as instructors. While some of those positions have since been cut for budget reasons, summer camps run by Grand Junction Parks and Recreation have resurrected the program. In Mesa County School District 51, for instance, 19 teachers are trained instructors for archery, comprising area elementary, middle and high schools, Tadvick says. She adds that several church groups participate, too.
Tadvick says the program is designed for students from fourth grade through high school, but middle school students have shown the most interest. While the program has seen success in Grand Junction, Tadvick hopes that it will expand to other regions as well. “It’s just another way that we can get a new sport into the school system that might benefit everyone later for hunting,” she says. “It helps students learn at a young age how to safely participate in archery.” Info: cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/TR-Archery.aspx.