UW-Stevens Point students teach children with down syndrome how to ice fish

Published: Feb. 26, 2023 at 9:02 PM CST
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - Many college students are not up on a Sunday morning, but the students at U-W Stevens Point in Steven Points were early risers on Sunday to go ice fishing. The snow was deep on Lake Joanis. Six families showed up to the event and 18 UW-Stevens Point students were there to help. It all started with the Shaper Club. Students and staff were working together to give kids a chance to try out this popular winter activity.

“Our outreach event is mainly here to kind of like spread awareness and advocacy that a lot of students don’t necessarily get the opportunity to participate in events like this,” said UW-Stevens Point Physical Education Professor Paul Haas.

While ice fishing is the hook of the event, it isn’t the only opportunity for learning. Shaper Club President Claire Tomczik said students who volunteer learn something new too.

“I’ve never worked with students any students outside of an adventure ed activity type of curriculum, so it’s really an amazing opportunity to not only work with these students but also give them possibly a lifelong activity,” said Tomczik.

It’s less about who can catch the most fish and more about quality time and having fun, according to Tomczik.

“Classmates are having an amazing time, really exciting for all of us to get out here and just be with the students. We’re one on one with them, each of us are in groups. So far, it’s great. My group hasn’t caught a fish yet, but the day is still early,” said Tomczik.

The event was made possible thanks to community donors and the ‘Walleye Warrior Outdoors’ who raised about $200.