Fishing class is one of 14 electives at Castle Rock Elementary

Cassandra Tiersma
Mr. Edmunds' fishing class students from Castle Rock Elementary School deep in concentration as they try out new fishing poles donated by Solano's Do It Best. From left to right, Hunter Hines (6th grade), Hunter Swartz (7th grade), DeSean Pistorious (8th grade), and Logan Hernandez (3rd grade).

Solano’s Do It Best hardware store in Mount Shasta donated eight fishing rods and reels to Castle Rock Elementary School for their new fishing class.

The fishing class, taught by Bob Edmunds, is a new addition to the school’s electives program. The eight fiberglass fishing rods and reels donated by Solano’s included four 5-foot, 6-inch fishing rod and spincast reels, and four 5-foot fishing rod and spinning reel combos. The newly-donated rods and reels were taken out for the first time two weeks ago, for an off-campus fishing lesson at Sweetbriar on the Upper Sacramento River.

Edmunds, who has been fishing for more than 50 years, expressed his appreciation of the equipment donated by Solano’s which helps make the fishing class an effective learning experience for the students.

Edmunds’ fishing class is one of 14 different elective classes offered at Castle Rock Elementary School. The electives program is a regular part of the school week for their kindergarten through 8th grade students. The program is funded by a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support grant which principal/superintendent Autumn Funk wrote two years ago.

Funk said the grant also paid for equipment called “flexible seating devices,” such as “wobble stools, peddle desks, rocking chairs, and bouncy bands,” which are designed help students who learn best while moving.

The trimester-long classes offered in their electives program, according to Funk, are “subjects the teachers are excited to teach and share,” and which provide opportunities for either “enrichment, life skills, social-emotional learning or new, novel ways of accessing different learning modalities” to help students learn their basic Core Curriculum subjects.

Funk said each elective class has a maximum class size of nine students. Every K-8 Castle Rock student participates in up to six different electives over the course of a school year.

She explained that the elective classes provide opportunities for students to engage in positive social interaction while practicing team-building skills such as communication and problem-solving.

The fishing class is proof-positive evidence of the “social-emotional learning” that takes place. Students on last week’s off-campus fishing lesson interacted in a spirit of supportive cooperation, as older students readily assisted younger students during the hands-on experience of learning the various skills involved in fly-fishing.