Sept. 9, 2022 - Nearly 175 staff and students at Ackerman School made the journey to St. Ferdinand Park for the school's annual fishing field trip.
“Ackerman has been taking this trip for about 12 years,” said Jason Betancourt, art teacher and coordinator of the trip. “Students bait their rods, cast their own lines, and unhook the fish they catch. We also have lunch on site and play yard games.”
Ackerman works closely with the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Nature’s Calling program to provide this opportunity to students. Sam Bueford is a fourth grade student at Ackerman and this was his first time fishing. He says the experience was everything he thought it would be - fun and exciting.
“It’s been great. I’ve been helping my friends get their fishing poles ready and getting it into the water,” said Bueford. “Since this is my first time, my goal is to catch at least one fish.”
Betancourt says staff at Ackerman take advantage of any opportunity they have to get students outside in nature and in the community. Seeing smiles on the students' faces is what the teachers love.
“It’s just so rewarding with everything the students do,” said Betancourt. “Seeing the excitement and pride in our students’ faces when they catch a fish is exhilarating. Students learn to have fun without technology or a device in their hands. They learn comradery. It can help with hand/eye coordination and motor skills, but this trip is all about being in nature and living life.”
MDC and the Special Education Foundation (SEF) provided some of the funding for the field trip. A grant helped alleviate some of the transportation costs.