Grants Available For Phys Ed Fishing Programs
The Future Fisherman Foundation is making a total of $200,000 available to physical education teachers who incorporate fishing and boating education into their curricula, offering up to $5,000 grants to help foster active leisure lifestyles and ethical attitudes about the outdoors.
Grant monies can be used for fishing and boating equipment, field trips, curriculum materials, and other resources to assist instructors in carrying out fishing and boating education. Launched last year, the National Physical Education Grants Initiative supported 34 schools in 20 states with $150,000 in grants. The program was developed through a partnership among the Future Fisherman Foundation, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, American Association for Leisure and Recreation, and National Association for Sport and Physical Education.
"We had an overwhelmingly positive response from teachers last year," said Anne Glick, Executive Director of the Future Fisherman Foundation. "Some teachers said they hadn't seen their students so enthusiastic about a new program in years. We're fortunate to have this partnership to keep spreading fishing and boating through schools."
"Using fishing and boating to meet PE lifetime skills mandates is a real natural," said Bruce Matthews, President of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. "Fishing and boating are great American traditions that connect families for a lifetime."
In addition to grants, sponsoring organizations bring access to a nationwide network of outdoor educators, conservation groups, and youth organizations that offer a variety of versatile fishing and boating education programs that can be tailored for teachers' specific interests and needs.
The partnership also provides training, access to discounted fishing gear and equipment, and ongoing guidance from experts. A training workshop for those awarded grants offers instruction on angling and boating skills, safety, and ethics; basic equipment set-up and maintenance; fish and their habitat needs; taking part in community conservation efforts; developing partnerships for access to fishing and boating sites, and recruiting long-term mentors for children.
Grant application forms are available from any of the partner organizations as well as online at www.futurefisherman.org, or contact Grants Administrator Jeff Bloe, 703.519.9691 x247. Applications must be postmarked by April 21, 2004.
All applicants will be notified in early June on the status of their grant proposals, and a training workshop for those awarded grants will be held in July to help prepare teachers for the upcoming school year. Partners also can link teachers up with state outdoor education professionals and community groups with tried-and-true fishing and boating education programs to help ensure their success.
Information about all kinds of fishing programs and resources, including discount and tackle loaner programs, is available from the Future Fisherman Foundation on www.futurefisherman.org. The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation provides information on where to fish and boat, how to get started, how to obtain a fishing license, and local fishing and boating regulations on the Web at, www.WaterWorksWonders.org.
The Future Fisherman Foundation is the fishing recruitment and education arm of the American Sportfishing Association, the sportfishing industry's trade association. The Future Fisherman Foundation unites the sportfishing industry with a nationwide network of state outdoor educators, national conservation groups, and youth organizations, offering a variety of fishing and boating programs, equipment, and services to community groups and schools across the country. These efforts help people of all ages have safe and enjoyable fishing experiences that foster conservation ethics.
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