Featured photo by Valerie Shelton – Students at Jefferson Elementary learn all about rodeo and the cowboy way of life.
By Valerie Shelton, Editor
Students at eight Clovis Unified elementary schools learned what it means to “cowboy up” at Western heritage assembles held April 18, 19 and 20, in anticipation of the Clovis Rodeo.
Janet Lemmons, the west coast representative for Cowboys and Kids, visited each of the eight schools and taught students the basics of rodeo—the different events and how they are scored—followed by a lesson in character, encouraging students to be strong and kind like cowboys.
Cowboys and Kids, established in 1991, seeks to encourage high ethical and moral traits in young American who are combatting today’s temptations such as drugs, gangs and violence. Using a Western theme and highlighting the American cowboy’s traits, Cowboys and Kids engages audience through visual, auditory and hands-on teaching methods.
In addition to the information presented at the assemblies, the Clovis Rodeo Association provided activity booklets to the kids so they could review what they learned.
“We teach kids about showing respect and we also teach them about the rode and how events are judged and scored,” Lemmons said. “Then there are activities in the booklet that students can do to practice their skills.”
Clovis Rodeo Association board member Lynn Button said the Cowboys and Kids program not only teaches kids about rodeo itself, but introduces them to an important part of American history—a part he is still amazed by.
“They’ve been doing this for two or three years now and it really good to educate kids,” Button said. “This is part of our history. My wife and I went on a cattle drive and I was on a horse and I looked out—this is in Wyoming where there is mostly barren land—at those mountains and I thought ‘oh my gosh.’ Can you imagine our pioneers, our first ancestors that came over those mountains with wagons and horses, can you imagine what they had to fight? They didn’t have cars or supermarkets or anything and then they had to blaze the trail. I was just mesmerized by that.”
Assemblies were held at Cole, Copper Hills, Fort Washington, Jefferson, Miramonte, Reagan, Sierra Vista and Temperance-Kutner.