Utilizing Community Partners and Agenices for Successful Hands-on Education Indoors and Out
by Jeff Anderson, 5th Grade Teacher, Evansville Elementary School
In December, teachers Anderson and Perleberg attended a MinnAqua Fishing: Get in the Habitat! Educator Workshop at Glendalough State Park with the northern Minnesota MinnAqua Education Specialist, Nadine Meyer. The program fit in well with the environmental education that Evansville 5th and 6th grade has been teaching for many years. Anderson and Perleberg utilized many of the lessons in the Fishing: Get in the Habiatat! curriculum to educate about fish habitat, identification, ice safety, water stewardship, as well as many other items prior to their “field trip” to the lake. The Evansville students were very well behaved; meaning fun and education was had by all. Although there were no “fish stories”, there were 25 fish caught by the young anglers.
The Evansville 5th and 6th grade classes recently concluded a program in partnership with the Minnesota DNR MinnAqua Program. The final event for the MinnAqua Program was taking the students ice fishing on a local lake. The Evansville School partnered with the nationally known Ice Team based out of the Twin Cities to help put on this event. Ice Team is a group of fishing professionals dedicated to promoting the sport of ice fishing. Ice Team provided warming shelters, Vexilar electronics, fishing rods and tackle, underwater cameras, along with giving the students fishing tips as well as drilling all the holes.
Several people from the community lent a hand to make this a successful event. Kent Huisman of H&H Landscaping plowed the area for Ice Team to set up and for the students to fish. Mr. Huisman also stayed on the ice during the event assisting in helping the students fishing. Also helping in the event were parents Chris Johnson, Terry Garder, and Lisa Bous. Local fishing enthusiast Brent Olson and his brother Brad volunteered to lend their expertise in ice fishing. Paraprofessional Annette Ohren, who has helped out on the Evansville 5th and 6th grade biennial Camp Out, also took time to help out on the ice along with classroom teachers Brian Perleberg and Jeff Anderson. Superintendent Rick Bliechner, who supported and encouraged the teachers as they started this new program was able to make a visit to the lake. Locals Joe Whalin of the Melby FlyWay (where the bait came from) as well as Tom Slack also helped the school out in the use of their land.