By Elvia Kelly, Fort Stewart Public AffairsApril 21, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Cowboy hats, bandanas and ropes decorated the campus of Fort Stewart's Pre-K Center, building 7097, for Rodeo Week, April 13. In conjunction with the Month of the Military Child, the week-long adventure supplemented the children's everyday learning of the world of rodeo.
Clytemnestra Anderson and Hilda Colon Torres, assistant teachers at the center, coordinated the country western event. They began by inviting other teachers, asking if Rodeo Week should involve the community.
"We asked other teachers if they would like to participate and what they could do to help regarding pictures and fun activities," Anderson said. "Rodeo week was a combination of enhanced learning and the Month of the Military Child. We involved parents, and we talked about the importance of our military children."
From sack racing to bull-tying, the outdoor activities at the center's playground were enough to entertain parents and children alike. The activities were divided into stations, which included pretend horseback riding, painting, spoon and egg racing, horseshoe throwing, and pretend hay play. The event was the Pre-K Center's way of bringing the rodeo to the children.
"Every day this week, the children do different things related to country western activities," Deborah Langley, volunteer parent, said. "[For the Month of the Military Child], activities like rodeo week helps children while parents are deployed. It's a break free of routine and children have fun."
While rodeo week helps children learn more about horses and bulls, 5-year-old Destiny Hill, shared a little knowledge about cowboys.
"Cowboys wear bandanas so that they can keep the sand out of their mouth and nose," she said. "And, they wear hats, so they can have shade from the sun getting in their eyes.
As teachers and parents helped the children with the different games and activities, the facility's intern, Amiee McCauley, enjoyed her final outdoor jamboree at the pre-k center.
"I'm leaving next week because I got a job in North Carolina, but working with children in general is one of the most rewarding things you can do no matter what aspect you do it in," McCauley said. "You learn just as much from them as much as they learn from you as a teacher. I love Fort Stewart. I love the staff. I'm really going to miss the kids."
Following the outdoor rodeo fun, the children returned to their respective classes. Though the rodeo event was completed for the day, it was not finished for the rest of the week. Something the pre-schoolers looked forward to.
"The mission is for the children," Anderson said. "I love working with children. I've been working with them close to 15 years. I do this because it is important that we are here for them."