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Archbishop Neale School is member of the National Archery in School Program. ANS is the first school in Charles County in the program, according to a news release.

The program is internationally known and is gaining popularity by teaching the sport of archery. Maryland has more than 50 schools participating in the program now and more will be added next year, the release states.

ANS was able to get all the equipment through two grants and donations. The first grant was from the Easton Sports Development Foundation and the other from the Maryland Bowhunters’ Society, thanks to Lou Compton, the coordinator of the Maryland NASP.

The two donations came from the state and local National Wild Turkey Federation and also from the Miller family, whose son attends ANS.

The archery program is a great addition to the physical education programs at ANS for fifth- through eighth-grade classes as part of an in-school curriculum, the release states.

Core content covers safety, technique, equipment, mental concentration and self-improvement. Before presenting the archery course, teachers take an 8-hour NASP archery-training program taught byCompton.

Plans are under way to start an archery club at ANS that can possibly compete at the state NASP competition next February in Hagerstown.

The archery club would be added to the list of extracurricular activities already available at the school.

“There is a lot more interest in archery because of all the recent popularity in books, movies and TV shows so the students are more enthusiastic about it,” said ANS physical education teacher Lauren Warring, who brought the program to the school. “Mr. Compton was so helpful for getting this program started. I feel that NASP is a wonderful program mainly because it teaches a lifelong sport and gives students a different skill to experience . The best part about teaching archery or any individualized sport is just seeing that smile of the students get so excited when they hit the target for the first time.”

Kids expressed that they were thrilled about the program and it was “fun,” “exciting” and “they looked forward to going to PE class.”