Excuse me Mr. Reichert…

This letter came to me from a teacher who made a statement to one of our local politicians and his support for a bill that cuts funding for PBS.

Mr Reichert:

 As a high school science teacher at a non-traditional high school in Kent, my greatest battle is getting kids interested in science, a subject many see as low on their list of priorities.  These kids are one step away from leaving the school system and becoming dropouts.  I ask them if they want to be rich, or more famous than Bill Gates.  They are barely moved.  I ask them if they would like to cure some disease causing suffering in a loved one; that stirs them some.

 One of the tools I regularly employ in the classroom is engaging video on the latest research being performed in labs around the country, some of them right here in our area.  Through these detailed looks into cutting edge science, I have sparked interest in more than a few students.  Using these videos, I have managed to get students to attend symposiums  held at the University of Washington, as well as summer experiences in the UW Biology labs.  These videos are produced by NOVA, a part of the Public Broadcasting System.  If PBS funding is cut in the next budget, where will the money come from to provide the topflight, cutting-edge video that they produce?  It is the process that PBS has in place which selects, supports, and enriches all of us.  It is the “Big Hammer” that I can use in my classroom that works to interest kids who already have way more on their minds than you and I did when we grew up.

 PBS is important.  This is the time to think of front-loading some dollars to help make a difference in the near future.  I’m sure that each of us has used programs that may not have had an immediate payoff, but you knew that down the line that investment of time or money would help save money, improve student responses, or maybe even save lives.  As a science teacher in this very high-needs school, that is how I see NOVA and PBS. 

 I encourage everyone to support the kids in classrooms everywhere by supporting public funding of PBS.  Supporting PBS is supporting kids.

Thank you,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Another Science Guy

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