Educational outreach program Little Lunkers held by Marshall FFA

Monday, October 28, 2013

On Tuesday, Oct. 22, Marshall High School FFA members participated in an educational outreach program for several area preschool through kindergarten children covering fishing skills, outdoor skills and more at the Marshall Habilitation Center lake.

Randy Plattner, FFA advisor, supervised the event which ran in two sessions - one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Plattner said they've been wanting to do a program that combined conservation and fishing and have done so for about two years. Plattner added that the program has grown since its beginning.

"We had about 98 kids last year," Plattner said. He added that number nearly doubled this year as they had about 200 registered for the event.

"We had a pretty good turn out this morning," Plattner said.

Plattner stated they contacted several groups to participate. Of the 190 FFA members, about 100 students from the conservation and natural resources classes at MHS volunteered.

Jamie Viles, a junior, who has participated in FFA since the eighth grade, was one of the many participants.

"I enjoy all of the activities," Viles said. "They are fun."

With classmates Amanda Foltz and Kelsey Aheren, Viles presented an educational program for the children to start things off. The program covered the anatomy of a fish, the water cycle, a fish's life cycle and the food they eat.

Skyler Thurman, FFA member, said the children also learned about the parts of a fishing pole. After the presentation, the children divided into groups and went off to different locations at the lake where FFA members began teaching the children fishing skills.

Thurman said there were one to two FFA members per child. They helped the children put the worm on the hook and cast out the pole. Some of the children weren't too pleased with baiting the hook, but some of the children did catch some fish and were happy, Thurman added.

The children in attendance were from Early Childhood and Bright Beginnings, and all of them seemed to enjoy the outdoors and learning about fishing.

The FFA officers were on hand as well to help out. The officers for this year are Daniel Arends, president; Kati Harvey, vice president; Alli Sprague, secretary; and Tylor Smith, treasurer. They all worked together and set up committees for this event in order to keep things running smoothly. They also provided snacks for the children during the day, which was enjoyed by all.

Contact Kelly Melies at kmelies@marshallnews.com