The American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA) is proud to announce a formal partnership with the National Fishing in Schools Program (NFSP) in a cooperative effort to target and reach the next generation of fly fishers. AFFTA has initially committed to provide matching grant funds for a minimum of ten (10) schools as its first phases of involvement in this project. AFFTA’s investment of recruiting new participants to the sport will be employed in each school for a minimum of three years.
The NFSP curriculum, “Cast A Fly, Catch A Student”, which has been approved by the State Boards of Education, will enable middle school and high school students’ to earn Physical Education credits while learning to fly fish, tie knots, and explore aquatic entomology. Students will also learn about the importance of water quality and habitat conservation.
From and industry standpoint, this program will provide AFFTA-Member Specialty Retailers and manufacturers the opportunity to embrace their local schools by participating in the NFSP educational process. AFFTA is encouraging its membership as well as other industry entities to support this opportunity and become involved through the following ways:
- Sponsor a school in your town and complement supporting funding from a partnership that includes AFFTA, the State Fish & Wildlife Agencies, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, and the Fishing Education Foundation.
- Become certified as an NFSP Mentor and assist the school teacher(s) in instructing and educating the next generation of Fly Fishers.
By engaging youth during the school day, NFSP directly reaches individuals who otherwise likely wouldn’t have the opportunity to be exposed to the sport of fly fishing. AFFTA and its membership can be there to help further those students’ interest and create lifelong participants in the sport.
“I’m very excited to formalize an alliance that offers the opportunity for our membership and others throughout the industry to work together to teach the next generation of fly fishers. Specialty fly fishing retailers have been waiting for AFFTA to produce a legitimate educational program which would directly and ultimately benefit them.” said Ben Bulis AFFTA GM. “While this alliance with NFSP represents only a first step in this process, I believe the project can and will grow quickly beyond our pilot involvement.”
To learn more about the program and how to support these efforts, go to www.flyfishinginschools.org and visit NFSP at their Booth, #106 at the upcoming IFTD Show in Reno, Nevada August 16-18, 2012. While at the IFTD Show, be sure to attend NFSP’s Roundtable Discussion, “How Archery in Schools Propelled The Archery Industry To New Heights”, Thursday, August 16th, 2012, at 10:00 am to hear a program by Tom Bennett, Founder of the National Archery in the Schools Program and NFSP Board Member. Through the Archery in the Schools Program (the program on which the National Fishing in Schools Program is based), the archery industry has more than doubled in participation and customer numbers since the inception of the in-school program in 2002.