Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery supports Union Chapel Elementary in helping PE teachers to 'catch' their students attention
When Brian Moore of Union Chapel Elementary in Jamestown, Kentucky headed off to summer school in July, he packed a tackle box and set off to learn things like roll casting and how to tie a Palomar knot.
Through the assistance of Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, Brian served as the representative for Union Chapel as the school is a recipient of the 2008/2009 Future Fisherman Foundation Phys Ed National Fishing and Boating Grant.
The Phys Ed program provides funding and training to educators to design and deliver engaging, hands-on fishing and boating programming as a regular part of their curriculum. A $2,500.00 grant enables teachers to purchase equipment, secure transportation for field trips and receive specialized training for the program.
“We have received many outstanding grant applications since the inception of this grant program,” said Anne Danielski, Executive Director of the Future Fisherman Foundation.
“The 2008 applications were exceptionally strong, and we can’t to see how these teachers implement these plans with students across the country this year.” The grant program, now in its 6th year, has reached over 80,000 students in over 300 schools thus far.
For the 2008/2009 award year, Union Chapel is one of 76 schools in 32 states to receive the grant. Of the 76 schools, approximately 15 of those are located in the Southeast U.S and only one from Kentucky.
Educators from around the country convened in Traverse City, Michigan July 6th through July 10th for a one-of-a-kind training designed to give them the skills necessary to use angling activities to catch their students’ attention. The Future Fisherman Foundation of Alexandria, Virginia (www.futurefishermanfoundation.org) held their sixth annual Phys Ed training at the Northwestern Michigan College campus. Each of the schools awarded a grant sent a representative to this training event, which featured aquatic education professionals and experts in “teaching the teachers.”
“I loved to fish and thought it was a great idea to get my students excited about science as well as pursuing a healthy, active lifestyle,” said Pete Della Ratta, a 2003 Phys Ed grant recipient and guest instructor at the workshop. “Our attendance improves, our behaviors are better and our students have become very aware of aquatic conservation issues. It is a win, win for everyone!”
To better prepare the teacher representatives to be instrumental in helping to go back to their own communities to implement their own fishing programs in the local P.E. programs, the workshop featured a variety of topics and lessons. Highlights included casting instruction for fly and spin casting, conservation education, building local community partnerships and effective evaluation.
The teachers also had the opportunity to take a charter fishing trip and practice the skills they learned in beautiful Grand Traverse Bay. Here in Russell County, plans are already underway on taking the knowledge Brian learned during his time in Michigan to help utilize acquired funds to make the program successful with students in grades kindergarten through 6th.
In its commitment to conservation and fishing, Wolf Creek NFH will be a partner and supporter in helping to see the program through.
The Phys Ed program is a partnership between the Future Fisherman Foundation (www.futurefishermanfoundation.org) and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (www.rbff.org).
For information on the Phys Ed grant or other programs at the hatchery, or how you can be involved as a volunteer, please contact Amanda Patrick, Environmental Education/Outreach Specialist, at 270-343-3797 or via email (Amanda_Patrick@fws.gov).
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