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Opportunities Provided by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo 1

Running Head: Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and Opportunities Provided

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the Opportunities Provided to Area Students Author: Penny Georges Lonestar College Kingwood

In partial fulfillment of the requirements for Sociology 1301, Section 22001 Jeff Alexander, M.A. March 10, 2010

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is known as the Worlds Largest Rodeo. From

Opportunities Provided by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo 2 carnival rides and entertainment in abundance to rodeo events and country inspired art, during one time each year the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo provides a common ground for groups of many kinds to enjoy different attractions. Formerly known as The Houston Fat Stock Show and Livestock Exposition, the organization was established in 1931 by seven men meeting for lunch. These seven founders were elected to serve as the shows first officers. They recruited agricultural, civic and business leaders from through out the area to serve as directors. These men wanted to educate the community about the livestock industry through competitions and hands-on activities. When the Houston Fat Stock Show and Livestock Exposition held it first rodeo in 1932, it was held at the small Democratic Convention Hall. In 1938 the location was changed to the Sam Houston Coliseum and in 1942 the show hosted its first entertainer - Gene Autry the Singing Cowboy. In 1957 the Show gave away its first ever scholarship. In 1961 the name was changed to The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, as we all know it today. In 1966 The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo moved from the Sam Houston Coliseum to the Astrodome where it remained until 2003 when it was moved to Reliant Stadium and Reliant Center. (http://www.rodeohouston.com/about/history.aspx) Ask anyone in the United States what makes Texas stand out and they will say Cowboys and Horses. Texas is Americas largest agricultural state. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo not only hosts one or the PRCAs largest rodeos, but also enthusiastically supports the education of children and young adults in the importance of agriculture. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo holds the largest number of agricultural

Opportunities Provided by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo 3 entries in the world, with nearly 30,000 entries this year applying for a chance to be a part of the Livestock Show. Exhibitors compete in livestock categories from llamas to bulls, all hoping to become the Champion of the Houston Show. Along with being named Grand Champion, the winner will also receive funds to put towards college and further the development of their breeding program. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo proudly supports educational programs as a significant part of the Show's mission benefiting youth, supporting education, and facilitating better agricultural practices through exhibitions and presentation. Since that first scholarship given in 1957 to Ben Dickerson for $2,000, the show has committed more than $140 million in direct educational program support and more than $250 million has been committed to Texas students for their education through scholarships. The mission is still defined by the thousands of young people who annually receive financial support from the organization. Currently, 1,884 students are on Show scholarships. The value of these scholarships is nearly $26 million. To receive the scholarship applied for, each applicant must meet specific criteria. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo awards 221 four-year, $15,000 Metropolitan Scholarships to outstanding students graduating from Houston-area public school districts who are in the top 25 percent of their class. The 106 four-year, $15,000 Opportunity Scholarships given by The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo are awarded are based on 100 total possible points, of which the following possible maximum can be earned: 50 financial need, 35 academics and 15 leadership. The 4-H Club offers 70 four-year, $15,000 scholarships requiring that you be a current member of Texas 4-H in good standing.

Opportunities Provided by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo 4 The FFA also offers 70 four-year, $15,000 scholarships and requires that you be a current member of Texas FFA in good standing. The Area Go Texan Scholarship offers 70 four-year, $15,000 and requires the applicant be ranked in the upper third of his/her graduating class. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo presents scholarship awards to students who qualify through, participating public school districts in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo School Art Program. A total of 15 four-year, $15,000 college scholarships are awarded each year. The Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Scholarship offers 10 four-year, $15,000 scholarships to current members of the FCCLA in good standings. The Hildebrand Scholarship offers a four-year, $15,000 scholarship in the memory of Mrs. Ruth Hildebrand to an exhibitor in the Junior Market Lamb Show. This scholarship, originated by the Lamb Auction Committee, is given to honor the memory of Mrs. Hildebrands unselfish personal devotion and contributions to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and to the youth who exhibit. There are 8 Scholarships totaling $48,000 given by The A&M University College of Veterinarian Medicine for students pursuing doctor of veterinary medicine degrees. Texas Christian University gives 4 scholarships totaling $10,000 for students enrolling in the Texas Christian University Ranch Management Program. There are 575 scholarships total to be given to Houston area seniors graduating from accredited public high schools each year. (http://www.rodeohouston.com/about/scholarship/index.aspx). About 38 years ago a young man named Dr. Ray DuBois won a scholarship from The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, he said he couldn't have afforded college without it. After earning an undergraduate degree in biochemistry at Texas A&M

Opportunities Provided by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo 5 University, he earned a doctorate in the same subject, plus a medical degree. He practiced medicine in Nashville and returned to Houston in 2007 to serve as provost and executive vice president of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. The scholarship he received did more than help fund his education; it allowed DuBois the opportunity to give back to his community. (The Houston Chronicle, Alexis Grant, 3/18/2008). The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo also supports local education through another program call RITE (Rodeo Institute for Teacher Excellence). RITE was founded in 1997 to address problems with academic achievement and the high dropout rates in many Houston area schools. RITEs main goal was to train elementary school teachers how to teach students in pre-kindergarten through third grade how to read. The program started with an initial three-year grant from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to pay for curriculum materials and highly qualified trainers to work with classroom teachers in six elementary schools in the Houston Independent School District. Their thought was; in order for students to learn, teachers must have the skills and materials needed to meet the challenge of instructing at-risk children. RITE uses the scientifically based reading research and programs. The different program series combine oral language development, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, oral reading and comprehension skills with a proven system for classroom management to teach reading proficiency to the most at-risk children in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Each summer RITE conducts an intensive Summer Training Institute where teachers learn how to present the prescribed curriculum materials and effective techniques for classroom management. Following the Summer Institute, RITE trainers provide on-

Opportunities Provided by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo 6 going weekly support and monitoring throughout the year in their assigned schools for a three year period. This unique feature of RITE ensures that teachers have sufficient support in the classroom and students receive intensive personal direct instruction in reading. (http://www.ritemail.com/). The Show has committed $1.5 million per year

through the end of the 2011-12 school year. Through out the history of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, this foundation has proved to be one of the most generous in the city. Though it has been said that the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo does not give back to the community enough, I believe that as charities go, this one is great. The RITE program provides teachers with the skills need to train young minds. High Schools Seniors in eight different counties have the opportunity to earn one of the many scholarships. Promoting leadership and academic achievement, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo encourages the youth of Houston and surrounding area to work toward a better future.

References (2008-11). Retrieved from: http://www.rodeohouston.com/about/history.aspx (2008-11). Retrieved from: http://www.rodeohouston.com/about/scholarship/index.aspx (2009). Retrieved from: http://www.ritemail.com/

Opportunities Provided by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo 7 Grant, A (March 2008) HOUSTON LIVESTOCK SHOW AND RODEO / 3-week run = $81.6 million / 17% of '07 total benefited youths, but group's main aim is to educate public. Retrieved from http://lscsproxy.lonestar.edu/login? url=http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb? did=1447879151&sid=2&Fmt=3&clientId=28607&RQT=309&VName=PQ