MMS students take aim
Marlinton Middle School sixth and eighth grade students channeled Robin Hood and Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, as they participated in the month-long archery program this September.
The program was funded by a grant from the Snowshoe Foundation.
“I wrote the grant and Tom Boothe wrote the same grant,” physical education teacher Kristi Tankersley said. “They said since we wrote the same grant, we have to share the equipment.”
Tankersley said Boothe will use the equipment at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School either this spring or next fall.
The grant purchased six Genesis bows, four dozen arrows, five targets, a bow curtain and a holder for all the equipment.
“It’s a DNR based program, so the DNR actually developed it based around Olympic-style shooting,” Tankersley said. “There’s about 206 schools that participate each year.”
The students took to the program quickly and fell in love with the sport.
“I was pretty excited about it when it got started,” eighth grader Kevin Thompson said.
“I was excited to learn the techniques,” classmate Lilly Lane added. “Learning the precision of it.”
Some students were a little apprehensive about the program, but once they got started, they here hooked.
“Don’t be scared to try,” eighth grader Trevor Jordan suggested. “I was terrified to, but now, I like it. I already talked to my dad about getting me one. It’s really fun.”
Tankersley said it became a competition with some of the students, especially when it came to getting a bullseye, or at least, in the yellow part of the target.
“We all knew when Martina [Gibson] hit her first bullseye,” she said.
“I was screaming for joy,” Gibson said.
The students agreed that they will continue their skills and would join a team if the school started one.
“I would love to do a team. I have a lot of students interested in a team. One of the big shoots is in Summersville, so we could take a team,” Tankersley said.
Tankersley said she wishes she could find a year-round facility for the program. Currently, they set up in the gymnasium, which will be off limits during basketball season.
“We could ride the bus to town to use a facility there; I would be interested in doing that,” she said.
For now, the students will take a hiatus in the program, but Tankersley hopes to apply for another grant to get more equipment so both schools can have the program on a long-term basis.
“It’s a lifetime skill, something that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives,” she said.
Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org