PICAYUNE, MS (WLOX) - Nearly 100 special needs students from the Picayune School District left their classrooms Tuesday for a fun day of fishing at the Sharon Oak Estates in Carriere.
The students fanned out on the 250-acre picturesque property. They surrounded a large pond with fishing poles in hand, ready to wet their hooks.
Many of the students needed assistance in throwing their lines into the water because of various disabilities, but members of the Picayune Rotary Club, Pearl River County Sheriff's Department, Picayune Police Department and the Mississippi Highway Patrol were on hand to help.
It didn't take long before one student yelled out "I got one."
The young boy could hardly contain his excitement as he pulled in a small bream.
"That's what this is all about," property owner Tony Paternostro said. "When you see these kids' faces light up after they catch a fish makes it all worthwhile."
The Picayune Rotary Club has hosted this fishing rodeo for children with special needs for 22 years. The Rotarians say it's one of their favorite events their club puts on each year.
After a couple of hours fishing, the students took a break and were treated to grilled hot dogs and hamburgers with lunch time trimmings.
The outing ends with a special awards ceremony where every student is presented with trophies and other goodies.
Workers from the Picayune Walgreens photo department pulled out their cameras during the fishing rodeo to capture candid images of the children in action for their scrapbooks.
The Picayune Rotary Club holds the event at no charge to the students.