District 49 Special Needs Students Learn Fishing Skills
District 49 middle and high school special needs students participated in the 10th annual District 49 Fishing Day event May 11 at Prospect Lake in Colorado Springs.
“This is just a really fun event for all the kids, they get to learn all kinds of fishing skills,” said event organizer and adaptive physical education teacher Bonnie Mendenhall. Mendenhall retires this summer and has impacted the lives of many special needs students throughout the district. “This is just very dear and near to my heart, to give the kids an opportunity to come to the lake and to do a life-long opportunity,” said Mendenhall.
Students learned various fishing skills such as casting, knot tying, fish biology, fly fishing and catch and release. Sand Creek High School International Baccalaureate students volunteered their time to demonstrate and teach skills to participants.
The Special Olympics organization also sponsored the event this year, providing transportation for students and t-shirts. The Colorado Parks and Recreation agency provided rods and reels for students. Colorado Pro and Tackle shop also provided rods and reels, safety hooks and volunteers to teach fly fishing skills.