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Mill Creek to host archery tourney

Mill Creek students stand in position to shoot their arrows. Mill Creek Elementary School will host an archery tournament on Jan. 11-12. CONTRIBUTED/JFD PHOTOGRAPHY & DESIGN
Mill Creek students stand in position to shoot their arrows. Mill Creek Elementary School will host an archery tournament on Jan. 11-12. CONTRIBUTED/JFD PHOTOGRAPHY & DESIGN

MADISON – With growing interest in the sport, archery will be in the spotlight for a premiere tournament for Madison in early January.

Mill Creek Elementary will host the city’s first archery tournament on Jan. 11-12 from 3 to 8 p.m. Elementary students in grades 4-5 in Madison City schools will compete at the tournament in Mill Creek’s gym.

In 2013, Mill Creek was the first school in Madison to start an archery program. Physical education coach Jennifer Klein and Jacqueline Smith, STEM lab teacher for grades 5-6, initiated the program. Now, Klein and Martha Pritchard coordinate archery classes.

This fall, Rainbow, Columbia and Heritage elementary schools introduced archery classes. West Madison is in process of starting the program, parent volunteer Molly King said.

“All archery programs in Madison use National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) guidelines and curriculum, which also require certification of coaches,” King said.

In addition to competing in the tournament, the archers will participate in two community service projects. Organizers are asking all contestants to bring an item to donate to Madison’s Small Pups Rescue and Adoption. While waiting for their turn to shoot, archers will make greeting cards for military personnel.

“School archery programs can assist in maintaining a positive and safe school environment,” King said. “Research shows, when students engage in extra-curricular activities, such as archery, the risk of violence in schools and communities decreases.”

Archery also can relieve stress, thus helping students focus and benefit academically and mentally. “Release of stress promotes better thinking, self-control and enhanced decision-making,” King said.

This sport offers excellent exercise and connection to nature and outdoors and “is a healthy alternative to playing video games,” King said. “Archery scholarships are available at collegiate level.”

King is working with Liberty Middle School staff to hopefully start an archery program at the middle-school level. Eventually, King will promote the archery idea at James Clemens High School.

For more information, email to jklein@madisoncity.k12.al.us or visit naspschools.org.

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