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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Physh Ed National Fishing and Boating Initiative

For Immediate Release

Keith Sutton, Executive Director

ksutton@futurefisherman.org, 703-402-3623


Physh Ed Reaches 16,200 New Students During 2008-09

Physh Ed helps teachers connect children with nature through outdoor recreation.

MCLEAN, Va. (October 20, 2009)—The Physh Ed National Fishing and Boating Initiative, which provides grants for K-12 teachers to incorporate fishing and boating activities into their school curriculum, has proven fishing is a fun way to lure children back outdoors. During the past seven years, the Future Fisherman Foundation (F3) has awarded more than $1,200,000 in grant funds to help teachers from 325 schools in 47 states deliver angling, boating and aquatic conservation programs through the Physh Ed Initiative. Most schools approach this program in a cross-curricular manner, teaming physical education, science, math, health and art teachers to deliver lessons.

Seventy-seven new schools each received $2,500 grants for the 2008-2009 school year. Thirteen former grantees were awarded $500 in supplemental funds. The funding was used to purchase fishing and boating equipment, cover field trip costs and buy curriculum materials and other resources to help educators reach state standards for learning in science, physical education, art and other subjects. It also defrayed the cost of a five-day training for new grantees, which prepares them to teach aquatic conservation, spin casting, fly fishing, fly tying and boating to their students.

The Physh Ed program reached more than 16,200 new students during the 2008-2009 school year. Of these, 12% were from economically disadvantaged households, 24% were minorities, and 36% included students with special needs.

The 77 new grantees received a total of 5,346 volunteer hours from parents, community members and state aquatic educators, the equivalent of $68,000 of volunteer time. Teachers also secured donations of rods, reels, tackle, kayaks and boating supplies in the amount of $99,000. This $167,000 of combined in-kind and product donations represents an 88% match to the $199,000 grant funds dispersed to schools.

Grantees received assistance from local chapters of national fishing and conservation organizations such as Trout Unlimited, Bassmasters, Federation of Fly Fishers and the Izaak Walton League. They received product and equipment donations from Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Dick's Sporting Goods, Gander Mountain, Plano, Shakespeare, Pure Fishing, Wal-Mart and Target, among others.

The 2008-2009 Physh Ed National Fishing and Boating Initiative was a partnership between F3 and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. F3 is currently searching for funding to continue expanding the Physh Ed program into the 2010-2011 school year and invites donors to contribute through F3’s secure online system. For more information, please visit www.futurefisherman.org or contact Director of Education Teresa Rodriguez at (703) 402-0004.

Established in 1986, the Future Fisherman Foundation unites the sportfishing industry and a nationwide network of state outdoor educators, national conservation groups and youth organizations dedicated to introducing America’s youth to angling and the outdoors. These efforts help people of all ages have safe and enjoyable fishing experiences that foster conservation ethics.

P.O. Box 6049 | McLean, VA 22106 US