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Georgia State’s Paulding County Parks and Rec Explore Archery Program began with USA Archery’s Explore Archery Grant Program and has blossomed with success in its first year of implementation. Joe Salvatore of Paulding County Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs spoke with us about their experience.
Paulding County has hosted several 6-week sessions of Explore Archery, each with 15-20 participants broken into two age groups: “It’s been great so far, we’ve had a lot of good response,” shared Salvatore. “The parents and kids have been really pleased with the programming and we’ve had good turnout at each session.”
“One thing that’s gone really well are the games we play to implement skill. We’ll work on keeping your back elbow straight and then play a balloon game to get them focusing on their technique and having fun. I’ll print out pictures of restaurants, cartoons, different categories like that and work on anchoring and then I’ll say a category and they have to aim for the right picture. In particular, those games have really sparked the interest of the kids and gotten great response.”
The key to Paulding County’s success, Salvatore credits to the USA Archery certification program: “The training we got through the grant is awesome, all the techniques from USA Archery have been great and gave me all the knowledge I needed to go in and be prepared to teach a class. Everything they taught us just translated really well.”
Salvatore thanked Steve Card of Georgia Parks and Recreation Association for the opportunity to participate in the Grant certification program and shared: “We’re very thankful for USA Archery, the resources they gave me to start this and run it coming off of zero knowledge has been great. We’ve hit the ground running and it’s been a great program and we’re really enjoying it and we’re excited to keep going and getting more kids into archery.”
On next step opportunities for Paulding County’s Explore Archery graduates, Salvatore added: “We’re currently in the process of trying to create our own next step program. We’ve had a lot of success with participation and parents wanting to find ways for their kids to continue in a more detailed or competitive way. In the meantime, we refer them to JOAD programs nearby but we want to have our own more competitive class offering here for the kids who want to take it more seriously. We may not be at tournaments in the near future, but it’s a goal we want to work in to and we’ll take the necessary steps to get there.”
Learn more about Explore Archery.
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