ETCETERA - Children's book by ex-Walla Walla woman wins silver award

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A book by former Walla Wallan Carol Muzik, an artist and illustrator who lives on Coeur d'Alene Lake in Idaho, won a Mom's Choice Silver Award in the Animal Kingdom category for juvenile picture books. Her book is listed under the Children's Picture Books, Audio Books & eBooks (ages 0-9).

Mom's Choice judges included education, media and other experts, parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others.

The Mom's Choice website said "judges are particularly interested in products that help families grow emotionally, physically and spiritually; are morally sound and promote good will; are inspirational and uplifting." The products are judged on their individual merit and there could be several award recipients or none at all in the categories listed.

Carol and husband Nick raised orphaned Canada gosling Lucy and helped her return to the wild.

Through the illustrated children's book, "Raising Lucy -- A True Story," Carol shared the goose's inspiring life with her family through her award-winning short film, a coloring book and award-winning illustrated hardcover book. Lucy now lives with wild geese.

Carol gives presentations to children and adults about her story while sharing what steps can be taken if anyone comes upon an orphaned bird.

Because the Muziks were unable to find assistance when they needed it, a portion of all net profits is donated to to non-profits that focus on wildlife rescue and rehabiliation.

"It has been an awesome journey as I share Lucy's story with children across the Northwest," Carol emailed.

Raising Lucy is available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chinaberry Catalog, Aftershocks Media and most distributors. Also see more at www.RaisingLucy.com or email Carol at lucygoose@raisinglucy.com

Lucy's story is related in 48 pages with illustrations depicting her life with the Muziks and their dogs. It is designed for readers from 4-8 years old and is published by Raising Lucy Studios.

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Since Dave Borges and wife Renee Rusler moved to Walla Walla in December 2001, Dave has donated more than 6,000 hours at Whitman Mission National Historic Site. Renee is a park ranger there.

The Mission honored him on March 1 with the President's Call to Service Award, the highest level obtainable in the president's Volunteer Service Award series. A museum technician for the park, Dave had to volunteer for 4,000 hours to qualify for the honor.

His 6,000-plus hours of work with the site's artifact collection began shortly after the move here, with more than 5,000 of those hours as a volunteer.

Continued challenges and diversity are the inspiration that have kept him at the work.

He researches questions posed by visitors and park staff and looks into the background of objects, which helps provide context and a greater understanding of the collection.

A release from the mission noted Dave creates public displays using the park's artifacts. He keeps the records and manages the collection's inventory.

He is especially proud of being able to introduce student employees to museum work, an opportunity he didn't have.

One of his former assistants now works for the Burke Museum in Seattle; another is considering museum career options.

David didn't start out working in museums. His background is in inventory management and at one time he owned his own retail business.

He said those experiences and his attention to detail, have made him well-suited for his current role at the park.

Park staff have noticed his work. Park Superintendant Terry Darby said, "Artifacts are touchstones to the past. David's efforts help the park preserve those objects and create opportunities for greater understanding and connection to those who have gone before us."

Volunteers make a difference at our National Parks. Dave is proud to be among that group, the release noted.

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The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center awarded native Walla Wallan Ryan Walker a travel and research fellowship.

A doctoral student in science education at the University of Arkansas, Ryan can use the award to assist a national team developing instruments for the college classroom targeting learners' understanding of the major scientific concepts of evolution.

The NESC is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Ryan will participate with the Evolution Concept Inventory working group. Concept inventories are highly specialized diagnostic assessment tools that allow instructors quickly to assess students' prior knowledge of evolution while identifying misconceptions students hold about evolutionary principles.

In turn, this information may be used to tailor lessons targeted at specific areas of faulty understanding and could dramatically improve the efficiency of instruction.

A news release notes that Ryan's project is to modify the assessment items developed by the Evolution Concept Inventory working group for use in the secondary education environment by aligning these items to the National Science Education Standards published by the National Research Council in 1996 and adjusting them for comprehension.

His work will both extend and help validate the tools developed by the working group.

The fellowship will also permit him to connect ongoing research in evolution assessment to that of the national group by developing a new instrument measuring both evolution understanding and evolution acceptance.

He is working on the assessment project headed by William F. McComas, Parks Family Professor of Science Education in the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas.

Such a tool is not presently available but its use will provide important data in the quest to help learners understand and appreciate evolution, a keystone concept in modern biology.

Ryan expects to complete a doctor of philosophy degree next year.

He holds a master's in education from Mississippi College and a bachelor's in horticulture science from Colorado State University. He previously taught science in Natchez, Miss.

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I found a most heartening item in the March Youth Suicide Prevention Program newsletter that may benefit young people in Washington state.

Sue Eastgard, YSPP executive director, and Lisa Watson, coordinator of Curricula for Kids, wrote Riding the Waves, YSPP's elementary-level health curriculum.

The 10 lessons they designed are being beta-tested by elementary counselors in the Snoqualmie Valley School District.

"We are eager to observe how the fifth graders react to and utilize the social and coping skills that they are being taught. We appreciate the support of the counselors, teachers and students in the Snoqualmie Valley School District," the item noted

The lessons complement existing middle and high school lessons that have been nationally reviewed.

H.E.L.P. and LOOK LISTEN LINK are on the Best Practices Registry. Once the outomes of the lessons are evaluated, the aim is to have Riding the Waves placed on the registry, too.

"We want to know whether the students feel more prepared to handle stress, and if they know where they can go for adult help for themselves or friends. We have submitted a couple of grants that if funded, would pay for that evaluation."

Perhaps this curricula will make its way to our area to benefit young people here, better enabling them to handle situations.

YSPP's online enewsletter is at www.yspp.org/aboutYSPP/March2011_Newsletter.htm .

Field Coordinator for Southeastern Washington is Jennifer Barron, 206-297-5922 ext. 117, jennifer@yspp.org. Other community resources listed on the website include A crisis hotline: 1-800-273-TALK or 509-527-3278l NAMI: 509-529-4854 or 509-529-5718; Public Health: 509-524-2505; and Community Resource #: 2-1-1, 509-248-6726 or 1-877-211-5445.

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When Walla Walla High School National Honor Society members held their induction ceremony on March 12, 63 newly selected students were recognized. The event was in the Wa-Hi auditorium, followed by a reception at the school's commons.

Teachers wrote evaluations for the students, and are indispensible to the selection process, said Karen Peddicord, NHS advisor.

A number of students described their Link Crew activities as their example of a memorable leadership experience, Karen reported in the March 18 Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review.

"In addition to the usual sports, music, drama, 4-H and church youth group activities, students are now discovering exciting and stimulating growth opportunities through this program," she said.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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