Rice acknowledged the assistance he has received from original concept idea to reality in the nearly three-year process. Rice’s priority as prosecuting attorney is to put crime victims’ rights first. To that end, he has worked on informational booklets, pamphlets and now a children’s coloring book.
The book’s purpose is to explain the court process using age-appropriate language and play-therapy activities centered around the Nodaway County Courthouse. Rice received his inspiration from Missouri Office of Prosecution Services Family Violence Resource Prosecutor Catherine Vannier, who distributed a national organization coloring book.
Rice worked with Northwest Missouri State University Health Science and Wellness Instructor Sarah Creason to map out an outline for the book. She recommended a student in her psychology elective class, the family, Brian Dunn II. He is a junior interactive digital media major.
“Thanks to Miss Creason and Bob for considering me for this project,” Dunn said. “I hope this book fulfills what it was made for and helps families and children.”
Dunn plans to continue his education by getting a master’s in business with the goal of owning his own design company.
“Without his graphic skills, we couldn’t have done this project,” Creason said about Dunn.
Children and Family Center Victim Advocate Meghann Kosman works with victims to prepare them for what will happen throughout the court process. She believes utilizing the coloring book will help the children express their creativity and, through that creativity, help them with their trauma.
Nodaway County Presiding Commissioner Bill Walker and Associate Commissioners Bob Stiens and Chris Burns have supported the project from the beginning.
Missouri Representative Allen Andrews said the gathering was not about the accomplishment of finishing the coloring book, but the focus was on helping children in a situation they shouldn’t be in the first place.
Rice’s goal with the book is to present the court process in a positive way. He used images of Nodaway County to make the children as comfortable as possible if they are to testify as a victim or witness in court. The book also includes definitions and explanations worded positively to help the children in a non-frightening manner.