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Mexican wolf subject of writing, art contests

For SW New Mexico middle school students

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Sun News Report

SILVER CITY - Two contests about the Mexican wolf can win students an iPod Touch, a tour of wolf country and other prizes.
The Southwest Environmental Center in Las Cruces is sponsoring two contests about the Mexican Wolf, one a writing contest, the other an art contest.

The contest is open to middle school student in grades 6 through 8, and home-schooled students ages 10 through 14 in Southwestern New Mexico.

For the essay contest, students are asked to write about the most important effects (good and/or bad) Mexican wolves returning to New Mexico will have on the plants and other wildlife and the student and his or her family.

Writing contest rules:

• Essays should be 500 to 800 words, neatly typed and answer the question: Mexican wolves are returning to New Mexico. What do you think are the most important effects (good and/or bad) wolves will have on: (1) the plants and other wildlife of New Mexico and (2) you and your family.
• Include name, mailing address, phone number(s), e-mail, name of school, name of teacher, and grade level.
• High scoring essays will be displayed at the Southwest Environmental Center, on the organization's Web site and printed in the newsletter.

Judging will be based on content (accurate presentation of wolf biology, history, status = 50 points), logic & persuasiveness of argument (30 points), and quality of writing (20 points).

Art contest rules:

• Submit a drawing or painting no larger than 12 by 18 inches, preferably mounted on a stiff backing of some sort, such as mat board, foam core or poster board.
• Use any medium you like: pencil, marker, watercolor, etc., but don't use anything that will smear or fall off.
• Entries should be accompanied by a brief (80 words or less) artist's statement explaining work.
• Include name, mailing address, phone number(s), e-mail, name of school, grade level, and the name of the teacher who encouraged you the most to enter this contest (if any).
• All entries will be displayed at the Cottonwood Gallery in the Southwest Environmental Center until Jan. 2. The winning entries will also be displayed on the Southwest Environmental Center's Web site and in their newsletter.
• If you would like your entry returned, provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope or make arrangements to pick it up at the Southwest Environmental Center.

Judging will be based on content (accurate presentation of wolf biology & behavior = 40 points), composition (artistic merit, use of media, etc. = 30 points), and creativity (original, insightful, etc. = 30 points).

Deadline for entry into both contests: Entries must be received by 5 p.m. Nov. 6. E-mail writing entries to: paul@wildmesquite.org, mail or hand-deliver art entries to: Southwest Environmental Center, 275 N Downtown Mall, Las Cruces, NM 88001

Prizes for both contests include:

• First place: An Apple iPod Touch and a day in "wolf country" with Steel Horse Adventure Tours.
• Second place and honorable mentions (2) will receive gifts from local sponsors. Some of the potential items include a new bike, art prints and more.
• All students: If your entry meets minimum standards, you will be entered into a drawing to spend a day in wolf country with Steel Horse Adventure Tours, and other prizes.
• Teachers: Teachers with the most student entries will get to go on a private tour of wolf country.
• Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held at the Rio Grande Theatre in Las Cruces, tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 14.

For information, contact the Southwest Environmental Center at (575) 522-5552.
To learn more about Mexican Wolves, read up here at www.mexicanwolves.org and go to www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf

This story appeared in the Silver City Sun News: http://www.scsun-news.com/ci_13486304