Youth Education Report

by Greg Kucharewski

(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association February 2004 Newsletter)


Educators please read and team up with a physical education teacher in your school to take advantage of grant money that is earmarked for HOFNOD.  Grants are available for Physical Education 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 in 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 on-line at Grants Administrator Jeff Bloem at 703-519-9691 ext. 247.  Applications must be postmarked by April 21, 2004.  All applicants will be notified in early June of 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 at < http://www.futurefisherman.org>. 

The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation provides information about where to fish and boat, how to get started, how to obtain a fishing license, and local fishing and boating regulations.  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.  Janet Tennyson, Director of Communications, American Sportfishing Association, 225 Reinekers Lane, Suite 420, Alexandria, VA  22314 ph:  (703) 519-9691 x227;  fax:  (703) 519-1872, jtennyson@asafishing.org



The Fisherman is hosting a special Fishing Clinic room at the New Jersey Boat Show on February 28-29, 2004 at Raritan Center.  You don’t want to miss this one…a special room will be set up for industry representatives, fishing clubs, and veteran anglers that will share their knowledge about boating and fishing tackle tricks.  Participating fishing clubs will offer information about their club and upcoming family events. Children and their families can enjoy a few interactive presentations about fishing that will increase their fish catching skills.   Look for the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife, NJMTA, NJ and Sea Grant booth to learn how your organization can promote the new Passport to Fishing and Boating program at sportsmen shows and boating events. 

The JCAA Youth Education Committee is looking for volunteers to assist with Passport to Fishing and Boating stations and presenters for the program.  If your club members are interested in helping, please ask them to e-mail us at gkucharews@aol.com and enter PFB in the subject line of the e-mail.  We received our Water Works Wonders event planning kit for 2004 that the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and National Fishing and Boating Week Steering Committee (MFBWSC) provides to help plan and promote a successful event.  For more information about how your fishing club or organization can receive information this easy to use format, please visit the WWW website at www.waterworkswonders.org or e-mail Stephanie Hussey, RBFF’s Program Manager shussey@rbff.org.



The Jersey Coast Anglers Association's Youth Education Committee conducted a special youth “Casting From A Boat” seminar from the NEW Passport to Fishing and Boating program. Promoters of the Hunting and Fishing Outdoor Sportsmen Exposition, Raritan Center, Edison, NJ hosted the seminar.  Children attending the seminar received a free ticket to the indoor trout pond, HOFNOD’s decals and drug awareness information, knot tying booklets, and goodies from vendors participating at the hunting and fishing exposition.



During the month of March the JCAA Youth Education Committee will visit the Newark Bait and Flycasting Club and present a “Passport to Fishing and Boating” event for youngsters attending their Kids Fishing and Boating Night.  The Newark Bait and Flycasting Club will host the event at the Knights of Columbus Hall, located in Union, NJ.  Children and their families are welcome to come and enjoy a night of fun fishing/boating activities and refreshments.  The NBFC meet monthly and they work closely with children and their families in the community. The Jersey Coast Anglers Association’s Youth Education Committee will support this worthwhile event by conducting a safe boating seminar and providing  “Hooked On Fishing Not On Drugs” packets for all the youngsters.