NASP comes to Norwich schools

Back in February, when I first started writing this column for The Evening Sun, I stopped in to see Mike Mayhood at Mayhood's Sporting Goods. I wanted to chat with him about what's new in the neighborhood from the hunting, fishing and trapping perspective. Mike told me that a new group was forming, called the Bob McNitt Foundation. The goal of the foundation was to privately fund two NASP programs one for the Norwich Middle School, one for the high school.

So, what the heck is NASP? Well, its the National Archery in the Schools Program, and it is designed to teach international-style target archery in physical education classes from grades 4-12. The core content covers archery history, safety, technique, equipment, mental concentration, core strengthening physical fitness, and self-improvement. And lots of target shooting!

The Bob McNitt Foundation, currently run by Josh Sheldon of Norwich, is collecting donations locally to help fund the program. In this day and age of tough economic times and tight school budgets, private funding would assure the purchase of the NASP curriculum and gear without any undue burden on taxpayers.

I called Josh to find out how much he had procured in donations. At the time, it was $600, far from the $6,400 figure needed to pay for the two programs. I told him I'd help secure more funds through the various outdoor organizations I belonged to and was familiar with. I've written grants for several outdoor organizations, so, piece of cake I thought. That was, until my conversation with middle school principal Scott Ryan, who informed me that the school already made the purchase agreement.

You see, in the grant application process, you procure the grant money first, and then set out to buying what you wrote the grant for. So, by the school district jumping the gun, so to speak, organizations like the Friends of the NRA, National Wild Turkey Federation, Safari Club International and others were legally unable to accept the request for funds from the Bob McNitt Foundation. Are you following me? Good.

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