Special needs students trade classroom for learning day at the lake

Special needs students trade classroom for learning day at the lake

PEARL RIVER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Aside from saying the Pledge of Allegiance, it was anything but a typical school day for about 60 special needs students from the Picayune School District. Everyone was ready to go fishing at Lake Whitney.

The 25th annual Picayune Rotary Club Special Needs Fishing Rodeo brought out the kids, the parents, the cooks and the fish.

"We are honored to be able to do this for them, and those children look forward to this all year long,” said club member Susan Wilson.

On this excursion, Lake Whitney is filled to the brim with all types of fish, including catfish and bass.

"It’s just something we look forward to every year just to see the smile on the children’s faces. They get so excited,” said Tony Paternostro, club member and rodeo host. He and wife, Sharon, have been involved with the event for more than 10 years.

The kids loved it, including Taiwanese international exchange student Schwin Butdisuwan.

"This is actually my second time fishing, so my first time was here, too,” Butdsuwan said.

The other first-timers got some help from local high schools and from a few Pearl River Community College football players.

"It’s great to come out with the team and just be able to talk to the youth. When they see us, we set the example and get to bond with the kids,” said Ronald Baker, Wildcat freshman defensive back.

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