VICTORVILLE — Hundreds of Hook Junior High School eighth-graders received hands-on history lessons this week as the school hosted its annual Old West Days event.
Teachers, staff and eighth-grade students dressed in Western-style garb and took part in activities including panning for gold, wood-cutting, tug-of-war, butter-churning, quilting, sack races and much more.
The centerpiece of the event was a large replica of a Native American teepee, assembled by Hook Principal Carlos Cerna and his staff on the center of the campus early Wednesday morning.
Cerna said the eighth-grade history curriculum centers around U.S. history, and the school holds events throughout the year to bring the material to life.
“The eighth-graders really enjoyed it,” Cerna said. “The staff and student participation was outstanding.”
The school also put on a play for students at the end of the day which centered around the “cowboy code” — promoting positive and ethical behavior.
The Old West Days tradition stretches back decades at the Victorville school. This year’s event was chaired by Hook English teacher Dianna Marler.
Victor Valley Union High School District administrators Laurren Francoisse, Christine Foote and Dr. Laureen Beyer, along with Lakeview Leadership Academy teacher Dr. John Beyer, also attended the event and participated along with Hook staff.
Photo captions — Top: Hook Junior High School students participate in a wood-cutting activity Wednesday as part of the school's Old West Days event. Below: Hook Junior High teacher Valerie Rodriguez, right, prepares students for a gold-panning activity in her classroom; students pose with school librarian Colleen Gibson (fourth from left) in front of the replica teepee that was set up on campus; Hook Junior High School staff members pose in front of the replica teepee on campus Wednesday as part of the school's Old West Days event. (Bottom photo submitted by Carlos Cerna; other photos by Kris Reilly)