What's Right with our Schools: Jefferson Middle

11:15 PM, Jun 20, 2011   |    comments
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Teachers in Oak Ridge are learning to cast a fly and catch a student. School is in session this season inside the gym at Jefferson Middle School. 

The lesson is one that generations of East Tennesseans have passed on one to another. This time, the students are teachers.

Katie Saxe teaches P.E. at Jefferson Middle and Monday she took a crash course in fly fishing through a National program called, "Cast a Fly and Catch a Student."

 Students will learn how to fly fish using rods and reels this fall. "They're going to want to do it - because it is that different - it's not basketball, baseball, football - it's a lifetime activity -- it's intriguing," said Coordinated School Health Director Blair King.

Jefferson Middle will become only the second school in Tennessee to teach fly fishing thanks to $3,000 in grant money and training from TWRA experts. 

However, few schools lie just minutes away from a fly fishing paradise like the Clinch River. "You see a lot of interesting things when you're out there - it may be an otter swimming through the water it may be a duck with its ducklings," said Bill Moulton of Clay County TWRA. 

The program is more than just introducing pre-teens to a new sport. They will learn problem solving skills from teachers who have first hand experience. 

The school has ten complete sets of fishing gear, so teachers will divide students in small groups so everyone has a chance. They hope to one day take classes on field trips to area ponds and lakes.

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