If you believe educating our youth holds the key to saving our planet, then we need you to step up to the plate right now and speak out to save one of the hidden jewels of Atlanta's education system - Dekalb County's Fernbank Science Center.
Despite a temporary repeive we are not out of the woods, yet. Result of yesterday's vote is to table the discussion for now, but only for a few days:
The board is tentatively scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20, to finalize the budget.
A major new development Monday was the fate of the Fernbank Science Center.
The center was pulled off the chopping block last month; Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson put Fernbank back on the table Monday. Atkinson suggested $3.2 million in cuts to programs and resources at the center. Fernbank has a $4.7 million operating budget.
I wrote about this remarkable local treasure some time ago, as I followed educator Al Tate on one of his tours of the Center's pristine tract of old-growth forest.
See the story here: http://www.examiner.com/article/exploring-nature-with-your-child-at-atla...
Tragically, Fernbank - Observatory, Planetarium, Science Center, Museum, Garden, Forest, Apiary, Farmyard and Classroom - is now on the chopping block.
Here is what Krista Westervelt Reed, through Change.Org, had to say yesterday:
After what appeared to be a reprieve for DeKalb County's Fernbank Science Center, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported that Fernbank is back on the list for cuts, with the possibility that 56 of the center's 60 employees (including educators) may lose their jobs, and many of the Center's programs could be eliminated all together.
If you are a DeKalb County Resident, I encourage you to contact school board members ahead of tonight's (June 11, 2012) 6pm final budget meeting, and to attend if you can. The meeting will be held at the following address:
1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard
Stone Mountain, Georgia 30083
Thanks for your support in our efforts to save this educational jewel.
While the vote was temporily tabled, Fernbank is NOT safe, and we have to keep trying to save this irreplaceable resource for Atlanta.
Why is this important?
Did you know that at Fernbank you can look through their powerful telescope at night to observe the consetellations for yourself using the largest telescope in the Southeast available to the public? That you can learn about and interact with live, friendly chickens, contemplate a butterfly garden, feed cheeky fish at their garden pond, watch a living bee hive in action, discover live and preserved natural wonders in the museum, take an exciting nature class or walk some of the last intact old-growth Piedmont forest left in Atlanta?
Most important of all, this wealth of education is . . . . FREE.
Free to educate inner city kids about how our living planet works, and why we should protect her. Free for summer enjoyment. Free for family outings. Free to learn how to sustain our Mother Earth. Free to discover the wonders of the cosmos. Free to make a difference in our futures.
We got a temporary reprieve this time, but don't relax just yet. Please let your representatives know that keeping Fernbank Science Center open and well staffed is important to you, your children and the future of Atlanta.