The children from the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Peoria began the first of three, week-long fishing clinics at
The clinics are part of the Snag and Brag Fishing Series, a summer event to raise funds for the Heart of Illinois United Way and Boys and Girls Club.
The young participants were given their own fishing pole and tackle box to take home.
Officials said the event teaches children the importance of independence.
"It's amazing to have kids fish and catch fish for the first time,” says United Way Vice President Don Johnson. “For some of these kids here today, it's probably the first time they've been across that river bridge. The tools that they have that we teach them, if you can catch a fish you can take care of yourself and live on your own and survive."
The success of the Snag and Brag Fishing Series is in the sponsorship, last year's event raised $80,000.
The series continues with an Adult Fishing Clinic and Tournament.
The events run through September 21.