Kids get chance to go fishingHey, kids, how’d you like to go fishing this summer? A local group is offering the perfect opportunity. Members of Let’s Go Fishing Kids hope to sign up at least 250 4th through 6th grade students in the Alexandria area to participate in this new program.
By: Al Edenloff, Alexandria Echo Press
Hey, kids, how’d you like to go fishing this summer?
A local group is offering the perfect opportunity.
Members of Let’s Go Fishing Kids hope to sign up at least 250 4th through 6th grade students in the Alexandria area to participate in this new program.
Kids will spend three hours in the classroom, learning the basics of fishing, caring for the environment and the importance of kindness and working with others.
Classes will take place at schools throughout the area starting on April 10 and continuing through May 2. Organizers expect between 20 and 25 students per class. (See fact box for times.)
After completing the classroom time, kids will go on three fishing trips out on a boat on local lakes with adult leaders and other kids.
Data shows that if a child goes fishing three times and has a positive experience, it will stay with him or her for a lifetime, according to Rick Jones, a Let’s Go Fishing Kids leader.
Parents are invited to come along on at least one fishing trip and can also help by volunteering.
Each child will receive a new rod and reel and a tackle box. To offset the costs, there is a small fee of $15 per child but no child will be turned away. “If the $15 would stop a child from participating, they should still sign up,” Jones said. “We’ll take care of it.”
Organizers are advising parents and/or children to sign up as soon as possible because they expect the classes to fill up quickly.
To sign up, go to the Community Education website, www.alexandria.thatscommunityed.com and search for “fishing.”
Parents should arrive at the training classes one hour prior to completion for volunteering training. They should inform Community Education if they are interested in fishing with their child.
Fishing trips will be scheduled at the training classes. The trips will likely take place on Saturday mornings and afternoons, and on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday evenings.
Let’s Go Fishing Kids already has about 70 volunteers ready to introduce the fun sport of fishing to the children.
The effort goes beyond teaching kids how to fish. Organizers also hope the kids will learn lifelong lessons about patience, interacting with adult mentors, decision making and protecting resources.
The Let’s Go Fishing Kids’ focus on 4th through 6th graders is just one part of a wider effort by the Alexandria Youth Fishing Federation (AYFF).
It’s also involved in a Fishers of Men – Legacy Program, which creates teams of one adult and one child to compete in bass tournaments.
A third component is the Student Angler Federation – a creative and competitive high school bass fishing tournament involving teams of two students and an adult who serves as coach, teacher, mentor and planner.
“By putting all three of these pieces together, it allows us the opportunity to work with kids for 10 years – from 4th grade all the way through high school,” said Jones.
The AYFF needs more volunteers and funds. To help or for more information, contact Jones at (320) 491-9458, email@example.com, Mike Frisch at (218) 731-8141, firstname.lastname@example.org or Jeremy Schneider at (320) 491-7264, email@example.com.
Donations can be made out to “Fishers of Men” or “Let’s Go Fishing” and sent to: 4978 Co. Rd. 42 NE, Alexandria MN 56308.
Before children are taken out on a boat as part of the Let’s Go Fishing Kids program, they’ll complete classroom training offered at the following schools and times:
Zion – April 10, 2:30-5:30 p.m.
St. Mary’s – April 12, 2:30-5:30 p.m.
New Testament – April 16, 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Woodland – April 17, 3:30-6:30 p.m.
Lincoln – April 23, 3-6 p.m.
Garfield – April 24, 3-6 p.m.
Voyager – April 26, 3:30-6:30 p.m.
Carlos – May 1, 3-6 p.m.
Miltona – May 2, 2:30-5:30 p.m.
(Additional classes may be scheduled at specific schools, as needed.)
LEARN MORE AT EXPO
To find out more about the Let’s Go Fishing Kids program, visit its booth at the Lifestyles Expo at the Viking Plaza this Saturday. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features about 70 exhibitors and a variety of entertainment.