Jack London elementary recently celebrated California's Gold Rush with an array of activities like panning for gold.

About 100 fourth-grade students recently did a little time travel at Jack London elementary.

For the first time, the Antioch school recreated the Gold Rush, as part of the studies of California.

The fourth-grade teachers began planning for the big day in November.

"The kids had a blast. It made history come alive for them," teacher Cara Sawyer said. "The children were very well-behaved. (They) loved it.

"I was impressed how much they knew when asked questions about the Gold Rush after."

The special event featured 14 learning stations centered on the historic event.

"We had parent volunteers that helped make this come alive," she said.

And, come alive it did with an array of throwback activities, including students making gold pouches, panning for gold, eating beef jerky, listening to Gold Rush facts, playing marbles and jacks, making a California poppy, having root beer floats, cleaning clothes on a washboard, kneading bread, enjoying sourdough bread with jam, decorating a bandanna, shaving with an ice cream stick and making a yarn bracelet.

"The event was a huge success," she said. "It went so well we are talking about doing other days like this centered around different themes."

STEPPING UP: Volunteering has paid off again for Dozier-Libbey students.

Antioch's medical high's Jefferson Awards for Public Service, Students in Action (SIA) team won a silver banner for their efforts at getting students involved in community service, said adviser Cynthia Soraoka.

The SIA team also won $125 for outstanding first-year chapter.

The Jefferson Awards, sponsored by KPIX CBS, were founded by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to encourage volunteerism.

SIA members are freshmen Aseel Shatnawi and Danielle Siao, sophomore Crystal Wen, and seniors Bryan Espinoza and Kevin Zaragoza.

"Dozier-Libbey students completed 2,005 hours of community service this school year, with a value of $43,610," Soraoka said. In addition, students donated 29 pints of blood to the American Red Cross, donated $600 to the American Cancer Society and $200 to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

"I am very proud of these students, who in our first year were able to win a silver for the school. We hope to expand students' community service next year."

CLEAN SWEEP: Teacher Shira Sweitzer is proud of the recent work done by her advisory class. The group recently held a major litter pickup on Delta Fair Boulevard in Antioch.

The Antioch High students are part of Sweitzer's community cleanup team. "The students planned the project," she said. "It's my hope that as we continue to plan these events, the students can take on more of the planning/implementation responsibilities."

She said there was help from many businesses, including Cot on the Web, State Farm Insurance's Richard Pagano, Sticker Brigade, MD Wireless, and Steven and Leona Chester. Caltrans donated many of the vests and tools used during the day.

If you have school news to share, contact Trine Gallegos at trineg@att.net. You can also reach Judith Prieve at jprieve@bayareanewsgroup.com.