A number of Clovis Unified School District elementary schools received visits from Janet Lemmons of the Rodeo Education and Character (REACh) program last week. The goal of REACh - a nationwide program - is to teach children character through the rodeo way of life.
Lemmons, the REACh California representative, taught students the meaning of the United States flag, explained rodeo competitions and had one more important message to share with students.
“The most important thing in the program is getting them (children) to be themselves,” Lemmons said. “The cowboy is known for being an independent person, making his own path and being his own way. We teach the children to not follow what other children are doing, and instead to make their own choices and to be tough mentally rather than physically when making those choices. They do have a lot of choices, especially with bullying now. That is our big emphasis - to walk away from it.”
The REACh program was brought to Clovis area schools by the Clovis Rodeo Association.
“Kids in general are the future for our sport,” said Clovis Rodeo Association President Greg Gillard. “This is my first exposure to this program ... and I am hearing rave reviews about it. It’s not just about rodeo, it’s life lessons. Reaching kids at this age is investing in our future.”