The New Jersey chapter of the Hooked On Fishing Not On Drugs program is currently operating in just one school district in the Garden State, but recent legislation may make it more likely in schools across the state.

Tell us what's so great about the Garden State by using the form at the bottom of this story.


The national program uses 20 one-hour lessons to teach core subjects and life-skills as a means of drug prevention.

"I teach them fishing is more than just throwing a hook in the water, sitting there being bored to tears," said Charles Breitweiser, President of the New Jersey chapter.

The program kicked off this year in Old Bridge, with Breitweiser funding the program between donations and out of pocket.

Governor Christie recently signed legislation that will allow state funding for the program. The law allots about $200,000 that will be taken from drug fines to pay for the cost. Breitweiser estimates that Hooked On Fishing Not On Drugs costs about $3,000 per school.

Breitweiser credits Old Bridge High School teacher Bryan Garnett, who has been very helpful with running the program at the school.

"If you have a good fishing club, led by responsible role-models, the students will flock to it," he said.

The basic premise is encouraging credible extra-curricular activities to move kids away from the down time that may lead to bad decisions, such as drug use.

"They love to fish, but nobody ever takes them, so they never get to go," Breitweiser explained, "So, as a result, they don't do that and end up getting into other things."

Learn more about the program and how you can help by visiting their website.

More Good News

National Eating Disorders Association

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is holding a walk in New York City on October 7 to promote a healthy body image and help the nearly 24 million people struggling with eating disorders. NEDA's spokesman and Brick resident Vic Avon plans to join hands with others who have been affected by an eating disorder. Now 29-years-old, Avon developed a severe case of anorexia at 19. He suffered with the disease for over five years. NEDA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. To learn more about NEDA and the walk, visit their website.

NJ Disability Pride Parade

Final preparations are underway for New Jersey's 2nd Annual Disability Pride Parade & Celebration in Trenton. Sponsored by the Alliance Center for Independence, the purpose of the parade is to bring people, organizations, and businesses together to celebrate pride among the disability community. The parade will commence on the steps of the Statehouse at 10am on October 5 and conclude at Mill Hill Park.