Don't be fooled by the name.
The Carson City Republican Women includes men - as associates - and one of those associates thrilled students Friday with a videotape featuring some odd-looking, odd-sounding birds at Bordewich-Bray Elementary School.
"Mostly, I liked the bird that sounded like a chainsaw," said 10-year-old Matt Nolan after seeing the tape. "I also liked the birds who imitated all the other sounds."
Fourth-graders learned about the African Broadbill, the canary, the saddleback, as well as wood pigeons, nightingales and many other birds, thanks to Jim Eidel, a former Audubon president in Nevada and Illinois, who brought in the tape from the Jim Attenborough series, "Life of Birds."
"Birds tell us a lot not only about themselves, but whether their habitat is safe and healthy," said the retired geologist. "If birds are healthy, it's likely their habitat has healthy frogs, healthy bushes, plants, salamanders, fish and even healthy microbes."
Jim's wife, Alicia, started the Republican Women's No Child Left Behind Literacy Program in early 2002. About 25 volunteers go into three district elementary schools each week to work with students one-on-one in math and reading.
Alicia spends about three hours each week at Bordewich-Bray or Fritsch elementary schools. Jim gives presentations at Bordewich-Bray several times a year, she said. Most of the volunteers work at Fritsch.
"I'm a guidance counselor retired from the state of Missouri," said Alicia. "I feel with kids you have to start even earlier than preschool. We need to use the resources of the community. Without the volunteers, a lot of organizations would really suffer."
Members of the No Child Left Behind club also volunteer at Empire Elementary School and more are needed to help at Seeliger Elementary School.
"We have not done Seeliger for at least two years and they called back this year and would like us to start but so far we have not been able to get any more women to work," said Kaye Keeton, Carson City Republican Women president. "We're going to try to get some of our new members to do it."
Most of the volunteers give about an hour of more of their time each week, with some giving several.
"People who are doing it are absolutely loving it because it is a one-on-one thing," she said. "The women really think it's neat. Most of us are grandmothers and our grandchildren are not around here."
As Jim concluded his program Friday at Bordewich-Bray, he passed out copies of Wild Bird magazines, which students walked out with like prize possessions.
"The response of the students was great," he said. "I looked at every one of them and they seemed very interested."
- Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.
• To volunteer for the Republican Womens' No Child Left Behind program, call Alicia Eidel at 841-6543. Volunteers are needed for Seeliger Elementary School.
• To join the Republican Women, call Phyliss Furlong at 841-3553.
• The annual fee is $25 for members and $12.50 for associates.
• Monthly luncheons at the Nugget, the third Tuesday of every month, cost $15. Secretary of State Dean Heller will speaking at the meeting Feb. 15.
• About 150 people belong to the club.
• Education focuses: The Republican Women work on the Mamie Eisenhower Library Project, which provides used books to elementary schools. The group has an annual fund-raiser each year to provide $1,000 scholarships for a Carson High and Dayton High school students. The group hopes to host an Intensive Reading Program this summer for two weeks, like they last did in 2002.
To donate books on birds to the Bordewich-Bray library, call Librarian Sharon Arno at 283-2462.
Bird talk can be about:
• Checking other birds' locations
• Chatting with their neighbors
• Saying "This is my territory."
• Attracting mates