HSLDA recently helped a homeschool group in Colorado when it faced state discrimination in an archery program.
Homeschool ETC is a fine arts, history, and sciences homeschool enrichment program that has served its community for 16 years. Earlier this year, it decided to expand its services to homeschool families by providing a formal archery program through the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP).
One of the factors that led to them participating in this program was that Colorado had archery equipment grants, which would allow Homeschool ETC to purchase enough equipment to get started.
As the group’s leaders prepared for their NASP training, which in Colorado is administered by the Parks and Wildlife Department, they were told that the grants were only available to NASP programs in public schools. When Homeschool ETC questioned this, Parks and Wildlife confirmed that they were eligible to send teachers to the training, create a team, and participate in the tournaments—but not get a grant.
HSLDA has had opportunities through the last several years to help the national NASP organization work more cordially with homeschoolers, so we were pretty sure that this discrimination wasn’t coming from the national level.
At the request of Homeschool ETC, I contacted Colorado Parks and Wildlife. I expressed disappointment about the unwarranted discrimination, pointing out that NASP has not only demonstrated a willingness to work with homeschool groups to permit participation in tournaments around the country, but it has even sent representatives to homeschool conferences to promote NASP.
I urged Colorado officials to show the same openness to homeschool groups that NASP has done, by making the archery equipment grants available to NASP homeschool programs.
About two weeks later, HSLDA received a very nice response from Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials, apologizing for the confusion and stating that Homeschool ETC could indeed apply for a grant. Bullseye!
Advocating for Groups
Homeschool ETC Director Linda Kidder said that she was excited by the possibility of expanding the resources the group provides.
“Since archery is not a common sport,” she stated, “we feel it is a good way to introduce our homeschool students to an opportunity they might not otherwise have.”
Linda added that she’s thankful that there’s a national advocacy organization groups like hers can turn to when they encounter unfair treatment.
“HSLDA has been a tremendous help,” she said.