Group Teaches Special Needs Students How To Fish

Posted at 12:56 PM, May 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-16 13:09:03-04

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — (FOX 17) It was a beautiful day to get out and enjoy the water and one group along the Lakeshore got together to teach some very excited students how to fish.

It’s part of a program called: Get Hooked and it’s put on by the Pursuing a Dream Foundation. The group aims at putting fishing poles into the hands of kids who may not otherwise get the chance.

Volunteer fishing mentors from the community take a group of students down to the Grand Haven pier along the water to wet their lines and hopefully reel in a big fish.

Organizers from Pursuing a Dream say it’s a way to show special needs kids that they can get outdoors and have fun too.

Even family members joined in on the fun. Parents said this opportunity might not have been something their children would have been able to do and were happy to see the smiles on their children’s faces. Paul Japenga’s grand son has down syndrome, today will be his first fishing experience and Japenga says getting his grandson outside to fish is a blessing.

And while some of the kids didn’t catch a fish this morning no one was left empty-handed. Each child received a small kite to take home in honor of the kite festival taking place in Grand Haven this weekend.

The Pursuing a Dream Foundation also works with special needs children and adults in Caledonia to get them outdoors enjoying shooting, hunting and fishing.

If you would like more information on the foundation we have set up a link to their web-site here: