Heritage Park High School recently received a grant of $5,000 from the Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club to implement a new program to support the mission shared by both entities in benefitting young people. The two facilities are located next door to one another and have teamed up on several occasions for joint projects, developing a strong partnership involving students at HPHS and children who attend the CHB&GC.
Heritage Park High School is using the financial gift to introduce an archery education program at their school. John Cummings, HPHS physical education teacher, is a certified archery instructor and is overseeing the project. “We are elated to have been blessed with this grant from the Boys and Girls Club,” Cummings said. “The students are excited to learn about archery as well to participate in this sport. It gives us a great way to build confidence in our students and teach them a lifetime sport.”
Equipment has arrived and the students have recently completed training in safety and handling of archery equipment. Practice is scheduled at the Boys and Girls Club, located at 3415 Buckland Square (next to HPHS) from 10 to 11 a.m. and 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31; or from 9 a.m. to noon or 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3.
Archery – one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States – emphasizes positive behaviors and skills such as focus and self-discipline, as well as strengthening eye-hand coordination and core muscles. Research also shows that students who participate in archery have increased levels of confidence and self-awareness.
As a long-term goal, Heritage Park High School hopes to develop a team that can participate in competitive meets next fall, and giving back to the community by training HPHS students as volunteers to teach archery to children at the Boys & Girls Club.
“This gift from the Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club is a great example of finding ways to work together toward our shared mission of making a positive difference in the lives of the young people we serve,” said DCPS Superintendent Owens Saylor.
HPHS director Michelle Ruckdeschel agreed. “Community outreach is an important aspect of our mission at Heritage Park High School,” she said. “We are excited about community connections like this to open doors of new opportunity for our students both to learn and to give back.”