HOMOSASSA, Fla. — The Homosassa fishing community is coming together to help students get a hands-on learning experience. It’s all part of the new “Book, Line, and Thinkers” program in Citrus County. 

  • Book, Line, and Thinkers program helping students with math, science
  • Students go out on the water, learn about the environment and fishing
  • Program looking to expand to all county 5th graders

Instead of sitting in a classroom, some Lecanto Primary 5th graders hit the water on Tuesday to learn about the environment and everything that goes into fishing. 

It’s all meant to mirror their science and math lessons.

“We just wanted to help the teachers reinforce what they taught in the classroom,” said Boat Captain Mike Baize.

Baize started doing this years ago at Homosassa Elementary, but the program has grown. 

This year they’re able to take the Lecanto Primary 5th graders on the water, and hope to expand it to all county 5th graders next year thanks to the help of the Citrus County Education Foundation. 

“It’s our industry, the fishing industry is who we are, it’s our own backyard,” said Shaunda Burdette, Executive Director of the Citrus County Education Foundation. 

The trips are funded entirely through donations. 

“We have the most wonderful collaboration of businesses, of community members, of community leaders,” Burdette explained. 

And it’s making an impact.  Baize said in past years they’ve seen improvements in students science and math test scores after going through the program. 

“When they’re happy and smiling, the learning just comes, they get it,” he explained. 

But he says moments like when a student smiles after catching a fish are what makes the long days worth it. 

“Like the commercial says, it’s priceless. You can’t beat it. It’s just priceless,” Baize expressed.