WCSD?pursues bowhunting grant

When the state approaches you about a new program it is willing to fund, you must be doing something right.

That could potentially be the case with the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Explore Bowhunting program in the Warren County School District.

“They actually approached us to see if we would be interested in this based on our archery program… in the Sheffield area,” Matt Jones, the district’s coordinator of grants and foundation development, said during the meeting of the school board’s Curriculum, Instruction and Technology Committee on Monday night.

According to the Game Commission, “Explore Bowhunting is a curriculum that teaches students about hunting in their classrooms. With more than 20 activities to choose from, students will learn a variety of skills that will not only help them become better hunters but develop an overall appreciation for wildlife and nature.”

Jones said he has been working with the “same instructor at Sheffield to try to get this in place.”

“There is a lot of opportunity here,” said Gary Weber, the district’s director of curriculum, instruction and assessment. Of the potential for a hunter’s safety course offering, “I think we can partner with them to enhance that,” he said.

Weber explained that he will approach the Pennsylvania Department of Education to “figure out how to fit this into the planned instruction” and “will come back with all of that information for final approval.”

According to an executive summary prepared for Monday’s meeting, the program was developed by the Archery Trade Association and consists of “23 different activities… The program is expected to bridge the gap between the National Archery in the Schools Program and Hunter-Trapper Education and provide students with many of the skills necessary to become a certified hunter in Pennsylvania. The Game Commission will work with schools in the coming year to develop the pathway necessary for students to achieve this goal.”

The National Archery in the Schools Program was instituted at Sheffield Area Middle High School during the 2012-2013 school year.

The maximum award is $2,000 in equipment and teaching materials and 15 schools will receive awards.

“Materials are capable of being shared between schools,” the executive summary stated. “The administration intends to arrange for such sharing if the grant is awarded and there is interest in other district buildings.”

Committee chairman Dr. Paul Yourchisin said he is “all for it. Bowhunting is growing by leaps and bounds year after year.”

“Any time we have the opportunity to provide skills to those students from a safety perspective, I think it’s a good opportunity,” Weber added.