An Open Letter From A Teacher To Her Sponsor

Derrell  – I would like to publicly thank you for your investment in my classroom over the past four years. Although it may not seem like much to you, your support and encouragement in the classroom has been appreciated by many students. Technically, I calculated 500+ students who were given a chance to witness the life cycle of a native species and learn a bit more about how to protect and enjoy their ecosystems.
I very much appreciate you as my sponsor for many reasons, however, I will start with you providing the essential equipment necessary to easily bring fish into the classroom. Many teachers are nervous about these adventures and your support with these tanks is imperative to their success. I will never forget the time you switched the chiller on my tank and saved the day!
Another thing you provide for teachers, as a sponsor, is the first-hand experience with these fish and their habitats. When a fly fishermen sponsor takes the time to come into the classrooms, the students feel a sense of importance and I find are more willing to listen, ask questions, and learn. You have a bigger impact than you think – my old students from the charter school still talk about your visit.
Derrell, thank you for all you do. Thank you for your support, time, smiles, and great conversations. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to expand this program with both of our organizations. I’m even more excited to say the team of teachers, administrators, and students are too. I can’t wait. See you soon!

Amy Di Maggio


Derrell Bridgman is with Tri-Valley Fly Fishers and is one of the first sponsors to support teachers in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Amy Di Maggio teaches in Oakley and had been developing TIC curriculum with CDFW for years. This year, she is leading the charge to have all teachers in two middle schools to hatch fish. Amy is developing curriculum so students study a new aspect of fish in each of the three years they cycle through this experience.

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About Ethan Rotman

Ethan Rotman (Bayareatic) manages and coordinates programs that hatch fish in classrooms for the San Francisco Bay Area. He also chairs the committee that manages these programs throughout the state. Ethan has worked with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for over 20 years.
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