Editor, It’s sad — so very, very sad — to read of the closing of the Jan and Dennis Waters Educational Center in Allenhurst due to lack of attendance. As reported, the mission goals included “…an education mission primarily for children…” This begs the question, how many of the approximately 10,300 Liberty County students visited the education center in Miller’s Pasture on a school field trip? I believe I can safely venture to say very few to none.
I’ve been told that a teacher wanted to take her class on a historical/cultural trip, but the Liberty County Board of Education doesn’t allow field trips. What, no field trips? I could understand denying a trip to the White House or the Grand Canyon, but to say no to a visit to one of the many vast resources in Liberty County is ludicrous.
Our children’s education would be greatly enhanced if allowed the opportunity to stand on the grounds of Fort Morris and yell to the British “Come and Take it!”, learn how to make butter, shell corn and grind grits, just as their grandparents did at Seabrook Village. They could walk among the grave stones of the Midway and Sunbury cemeteries and get a feel for our rich history. Let them stand in the balcony of the Midway Congregational Church, explore the Midway Museum, weave baskets, grind cane, and listen to stories that have been passed down for generations at the Geechee Kunda cultural center. Our students deserve a chance to walk through Dorchester Academy, where the Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stayed and spoke prayerful words of peace, which forever will be remembered.
The age old saying “You don’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been” rings true even today. The opportunity of a lifetime to broaden our children’s education in our own backyard is being squandered because of a “no field trips” policy.
However, $20,000 “salary adjustments” are made. The superintendent, board chair and board members take field trips outside the state to the tune of thousands of dollars, while teachers are told they can’t take their students down the road to enhance their education.
This needs to change.
What say you, board of education?
— Bruce McCartney
Trade Hill community