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Fishing for funds: Miltona students build fish house

Miltona Science Magnet School 5th and 6th graders are pictured with their finished fish house, which was put up for raffle and won by Kevin Gorghuber. Contributed photo.1 / 2
Thyra Eysselinck worked on the fish house siding. Contributed photo.2 / 2

Fifth and 6th grade students from Miltona Science Magnet School reaped the rewards of months of hard work recently, when the fish house they constructed was finally raffled off.

The raffle was held January 11, with Kevin Gorghuber's name being drawn as the lucky winner of the 6-foot, 4-inch by 12-foot fish house. Other prizes included an ice auger, assortment of fish tackle, tip-up and a rod and reel combo.

The classes started building fish houses in the 2000-2001 school year as a school fundraiser.

At the start of the project, students sign up for one of the following committees:

Treasury Committee - tracks income and expenses, submits bills to school secretary, records raffle sales, graphs progress of raffle sales, and presents information to classmates. Members meet with a bank representative to learn how to balance checking accounts and track debts and credits.

Lumberyard Committee - meets with Miltona Builders Supply to learn how blue prints are drawn up and to come up with a supply list.

Trailer Committee - meets with Miltona Blacksmith to learn the process of welding a trailer.

Interior Design Committee - decides what will go inside the fish house. Students discuss "needs versus wants" to make an attractive fish house that is cost efficient. This committee meets with Lakes Gas to learn about heating a fish house - what BTUs are, how to vent heaters, and about dangers of installing a heater incorrectly.

Press and Public Relations Committee - order raffle tickets, distribute them to local businesses, and make posters publicizing the raffle. They write and send letters asking for volunteer help to build the fish house and contact local media to promote the raffle.

Each committee has specific responsibilities, but they all work as a team to create the final product.

The project ties into curriculum in numerous ways - students use measurement, work with money, learn to communicate with adults, present in front of people, use technology to create picture collages and advertising posters, and learn the commitment involved in large projects and goal setting.

The students came together for seven evenings to construct the fish house. They were aided by volunteer parents/guardians, relatives, friends, and Amy Revering, 5th grade teacher, and Angie Gasior, 6th grade teacher.

The project is made possible by volunteers, local businesses and donations.