More free admission days at Children’s Museum Missoula

Believe it or not, this Friday, Jan. 3, is the First Friday of a brand-new year.

As usual, the Children’s Museum Missoula will be opening its doors from 5-7 p.m. Stop by with the kiddos and check out artwork provided by Missoula International School students.

Admission during those hours will be free, as well as free all day long the next day, Saturday, Jan. 4, during open hours from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday’s free admission is thanks to the support of ZillaState.

Not a bad way to kick off the first week of 2014.

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PISA results getting lots of commentary from experts in US education

So the results of the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment survey are in, and I gather that the U.S. did not do as well as many had hoped.

The survey is a paper test given by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, headquartered in Paris) to more than half a million students located in 65 different countries.

In a nutshell: In math, 35 countries did better than U.S. students. In reading, the U.S. came in 20th place (it was 14th place the year before); and in science, 25th place (down from 17th place in the last survey).

Predictably, lots of people have lots to say about this. For a small sample of commentary from three different sources, read on.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Gala fundraiser reading for Aerie International is this Thursday!

If you aren’t familiar with Big Sky High School’s award-winning international literary arts magazine, Aerie International, you are missing out.

This Thursday brings an opportunity to correct that. The Dana Gallery in downtown Missoula is hosting the fourth annual gala fundraiser and reading for the student publication. The family-friendly event will feature art, poetry, music, world food and more.

For a taste, check out this photo by 18-year-old Carrie Klemencic of Lawrence, Kansas:

Carrie Klemencic_Within ReachSample

Amazing, right?

More talent of this caliber – and coming from all over the globe – will be on display while student editors read original work AND selections from the next issue of Aerie International, all while guest readers and advisory board members – writers Tami Haaland, Debra Magpie Earling, David Allan Cates, Robert Stubblefield, Caroline Patterson and Robert Lee – mill around.

The night kicks off at 5:30 p.m. with live jazz and international hors d’ouerves, and drop-ins are welcome throughout the evening.

Remember, this is a fundraiser, so a suggested donation of $25 per “family” is appreciated, “family being loosely defined as any group of adults with or without children, related or unrelated.

If you have other plans and can’t make it, you can still check out Aerie International through its website. Or, for $12, subscribe to the magazine by emailing a subscription request to

Here’s more information about the publication:

The students of Aerie are eligible for $100 prizes each year include the Patricia Goedicke Poetry Award, the James Welch Fiction Award, the Norman Maclean Nonfiction Award, the Rudy Autio Visual Arts Award, the Lee Nye Photography Award, the Richard Hugo Sense of Place Award, and the Chief Charlo Celebration of Culture Award.

Aerie International is the only magazine of its kind dedicated to high school students editing and publishing the work of their peers worldwide. Last year the student editors solicited and read more than 350 submissions from 13-19 year olds from England, Russia, Turkmenistan, Japan, Finland, Canada, and across the United States.

Since 1999, Big Sky High School’s two literary arts magazines have received or been nominated for the highest award rank in the National Council of Teacher’s of English Program to recognize excellence in sudent literary magazines seven times.

Last year both magazines received the highest award.

For still more information as well as other donation avenues, call Lorilee Evans-Lynn at Big Sky High School at 728-2401, or write to Aerie International, Big Sky High School, 3100 South Avenue W. Missoula, MT 59804.

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UM to host discussion on the plight of women and children in Haiti

This upcoming Wednesday, Save the Children executive vice president Carolyn Miles will be in town to lead a community discussion titled “Women and Children at Risk: Haiti and the Developing World.”

The discussion will be hosted by the World Affairs Council of Montana, which is asking for a $5 admission fee for members of the public; it’s free for students and World Affairs Council members.

According to the news release:

Miles, an established leader in the nonprofit sector and developing world, has traveled to more than 45 countries. Her visit to Missoula is part of a national outreach effort to increase awareness of the challenges faced by women and children in developing nations.

She will speak about the growing efforts to empower women, as well as Save the Children’s successful programs that address issues of basic health and education services for children around the world.

Miles also will discuss efforts being made to increase economic opportunities, HIV/OVC initiatives for children and communities, and emergency assistance during natural disasters, war and conflict.

This month marks the one-year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake disaster. Miles will share impressions from her recent visit to the country and the level of progress toward improving conditions from the tragedy.

The event is part of the World Affairs Council of Montana’s Distinguished Speakers Program and is the 2011 Dirk and Kim Visser/Allegiance Benefit Plan Management Inc. lecture. It is co-sponsored by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at UM.

Show up at the University Center Ballroom at 7 p.m. with your $5 if you want to attend. For more information, visit the World Affairs Council website.

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