NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s a man on a mission in the Bronx. He’s using archery to get kids on the right track in life.
CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu went to a school in the Bronx on Wednesday, where the students were right on target.
“He took us out to garbage dump and he had a cushion, found an old couch cushion. He set that up as a target and that’s what we shot at,” Brown said.
Brown went on to compete and became the first African American archery coach for the women’s team at Columbia University. His mission now is to bring the sport to kids in minority communities, like P.S. 69 in the Bronx, where fifth graders take his class once a week.
And they agree – the pay-off has been incredible.
“I kind of was a troublemaker before, now respecting, I’m doing very well in class and I’m not getting in trouble at all,” 9-year-old Isiah Torres told Hsu.
Along with shooting come lessons that are tough to teach.
“It develops self-confidence in them, their self-esteem, discipline and focus and that translates into better test scores,” P.S. 69 Principal Sheila Durant said.
“I also learned how to be focused during the test and while we’re doing work, during class work,” 10-year-old Reasudeen Nausrudeen said.
The rules are strict. No one moves until the whistle blows and every shot counts for a score that’s tallied week after week.
Jazlyn Jimenez said archery has taught her to stay in control and she plans on teaching adults to shoot.
“Like if they have children, they can learn how to be calm; like if their children make them upset or tired, they can always do strategies that we use in archery,” the 11-year-old said.
Hsu watched as the students were getting ready for an upcoming tournament, but no matter how they do they’re already winners in so many ways.
Brown has archery programs in half a dozen public schools. They’re free to the kids and supported by local charities.
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