RACINE — The Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, Meigs Soil and Water Conservation District and OSU Extension organized the event “Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs” for the second year in a row for all fifth graders in the county.
Educators from the Ohio State Extension and the Soil and Water Conservation office were there to teach children about outdoor activities.
The main purpose of the event is to get students outdoors and to teach drug prevention.
“Fourth, fifth, sixth grades target [drug prevention], so we hit the middle of the road with that,” Wood said. “We try to reach their minds before they get into middle school and high school.”
The sheriff and resource officers gave children tips on making good choices, saying no to drugs, speaking up when they think something is wrong, and being friendly with others. Michelle Stumbo from OSU Extension used ‘Generation Rx,’ a curriculum form Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacology, to talk about safe use of prescription medications.
“It goes at it from teaching what safe use is,” Stumbo said. “So we talk about not sharing prescription medications, what’s on that medication label and using it correctly. We talk about usage and dosage and using it the way your doctor intended.”
Stumbo said the program is designed for children of their age. The college also designed a curriculum for younger students, high school students, people in the workforce and senior citizens.
Wood said he wished they could teach this program to fourth and sixth grades, also, but there is not enough manpower or funding to have everyone participate. However, the D.A.R.E. program will be taught to elementary and high school next year using two resource officers and two different versions of the program.
Students learned more than drug prevention techniques. They learned how to properly and safely cast a fishing line, about habitats in nature, hunting and fishing laws, as well as handling and identifying the fish. In the afternoon, students spent time at the pond where they learned to bait a hook and catch fish.
“There are other paths for you to take,” Wood said. “There are other directions in life. That’s what we want is for you to make good life choices.”
Kayla Hawthorne is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.