Archery in Mississippi Schools
In 2005 the National Archery in Schools Program sent part of their staff to Jackson MS and trained 25 individuals as Basic Archery Instructors. Ten pilot schools received equipment in May of 2006 and Archery in Mississippi Schools (AIMS) was born. AIMS has grown into one of the largest youth programs in our great state with upwards of 400 schools either active, waiting on approval or waiting on funding. Every student in our school system may not be able to kick a field goal, hit a home run, or make a free throw, but archery is a sport that virtually all of our students can be successful at. Many students that have never been a part of extracurricular activities now have a new connection to their school. This has a positive effect on grades, behavior, and dropout rates.
Each year, over 60,000 student athletes go through the AIMS program during the in school program and many students attend after school programs to sharpen their skills allowing them to shoot in local, district, state, national, and world championship events that draw huge numbers of archers. Mississippi’s “Tournament Circuit” has two qualifiers and a state championship that host over 7,000 student archers yearly. The three tournaments use a high tech scoring system that allows fans to follow the success of their teams by following an online score board making archery a better spectator sport than ever before. Children that may have never been physically fit to participate in other sports are now involved in daily activities that will benefit their health and well being later in life. Archery is a lifelong sport that students will learn in elementary, middle, and high school and will enjoy throughout their entire life.
As AIMS continues to grow, many of our youth are carrying archery to the next level by participating in the collegiate archery programs now being offered in Mississippi and other states as well. Several Mississippi students have received scholarships in archery programs and will represent different universities across the nation.
If you would like to be a part of the AIMS program, please feel free to inquire about our “Adopt a School Program.” This program allows individuals or businesses to provide equipment to schools in their area that will enhance existing programs or start new ones.