A New Voice for Wolves: Meet Alyssa Grayson
September 11, 2011
Alyssa Grayson is a fifth grader but make no mistake, not your normal fifth grader. Alyssa is passionate about wolves, and how wolves help the ecosystem. Not only does she know about wolves, but she also educates others about them. She loves to talk to younger kids about wolves, and says they get very excited to hear what she has to say.
Alyssa’s parents back her 110% when it comes to supporting her passion. Alyssa and her Mom Cheri stopped by my house the other day so I could meet Alyssa, and Cheri was carrying folders and bundles of work that Alyssa was involved in. And yes, the packages were all about wolves, and I must say I was very impressed with Alyssa’s passion and knowledge. Naturally she also loves dogs, and she connected right away with my Australian Shepherd Chaney. Cheri told me that the Aussie is her favorite dog, and no wonder as they share more common traits with wolves than most other breeds.
Alyssa was very anxious to check out my spotting scope used to watch wolves in the wilds of Yellowstone National Park. She said she would love to go there, and her Mom said Alyssa would pick Yellowstone over Disney World any day! We also watched a wolf slide show presentation I made on Yellowstone, and she watched intently. She was very interested in a slide showing the positive difference the wolf has made since returning to Yellowstone some sixteen years ago. She knows her stuff and is now studying about the Trophic Cascade created by wolves, and also studying about biodiversity. We talked about Isle Royale and the relationship between the wolves and moose as a perfect example.
Cheri gave me a couple of Alyssa’s “Wolf Journals” that she researched and organized. Alyssa created a wolfclub membership of over 100 “pack members”, where she encourages others to learn about wolves. Initiating projects such as artwork and looking for articles about wolves, Alyssa has a strong following among her peers. It is no wonder she is known as “Wolf Girl” at school. Speaking of school, Alyssa decided one day that the other students needed to be kept informed about all the wolf issues, and is often heard on the school PA system making announcements of the most up to date information . Alyssa is happy to talk about wolves and the impact they make on the ecosystem, and has given presentations at the Washington County Fair and also the Roger Williams Park Zoo on Earth Day.
Alyssa’s journal also included very informative articles about the Wolf Conservation Center and Loki Clan Wolf Refuge. Maggie Howell of the Wolf Conservation Center is an important role model for Alyssa, and Maggie pays back the compliment when she calls Alyssa “her hero!”
Here at the National Wolfwatcher Coalition we are dedicated to promoting education as part of our mission. Perhaps Secretary Diane Bentivegna says it best about Alyssa: “Dear Alyssa and Mom Cheri,
Thank you so much for joining us…you are an inspiration! Your representation of the next generation is the vital link that is necessary in our mission to bring positive and truthful information about wolves and wolf conservation to the next generation of wolfwatchers across our nation.
As a teacher myself, I can confidently say that students make fabulous teachers, and I stand eager and ready to learn from you, Alyssa. One day, you and your peers will be charged with making important decisions about the future of our country; collectively, all of you will have much power – including the power to encourage others to value our wild lands and wildlife enough to protect them. Alyssa, your voice and your actions now blaze a new trail of hope for the rest of us who look to you and your peers as partners in our mission. Thank you for your service for wolves. Welcome!
What’s next for Alyssa? She has joined Wolfwatcher to further educate others about wolves and will be writing articles for Wolfwatcher and also continuing giving wolf presentations. Parents who would like their children to interact with Alyssa can email or send a message to us on Facebook “wolfwatcher” and ask that they and their child be included on the wolfwatcher fb page we have set up for our young advocates. We also encourage parents to participate on this page with their child.
We are very inspired and encouraged to have Alyssa as our new young voice for wolves here at the National Wolfwatcher Coalition. And I am sure wolves in the wild would feel the same way. This is not only our future, but the future for wolves and all wildlife, and their habitat. WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW!
National Wolfwatcher Coalition
Understand, Love, Protect
* On Alyssa’s Wolf Journal she too has a slogan that says, “”Give, Laugh. Smile“ ENJOY THE VIDEO: