Hello NWABR supporters and friends,
As many of you know, funding for science health education is on the Congressional chopping block. Specifically, the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) grant that has supported many of our educational endeavors over the last decade has been halted indefinitely. We are writing to inform you about the plan developed at the NIH SciEd 2013 Conference for educating Congresspeople about the need to continue funding for NIH K-12 and informal science and health education programs.
This Action Plan is a response to the White House’s fiscal year 2014 plan to consolidate funding for K-12 and informal science education, which resulted in NIH’s recent announcement about indefinitely placing a halt on funding for the programs it funds. NWABR’s Jeanne Chowning posted a blog entry summarizing the issues – https://nwabr.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/nih-science-education-programs-at-risk/
Many of you have asked how you can help support the reinstatement of funding for these important health literacy programs for the students, teachers and families we serve. We invite you to join us in our effort by urging you to do the following immediately:
1. Write the following individuals about this issue – an example letter is attached.
Sending email is best, unless you hand-deliver a letter to their local office. Paper letters sent to DC can take up to 2 weeks for delivery due to security screening measures.
The websites have a form in which you can place the text of your letter. Check these first to familiarize yourself with the format.
- Your US senators – find their contact information at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
- Your US representative – find their contact information at http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
- The chairs and ranking members (the opposite part) of the US Senate and House Appropriations Committees
- Senate Chair: The Honorable Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) http://www.mikulski.senate.gov/contact/
- House Chair: The Honorable Hal Rogers ( R- KY) https://halrogers.house.gov/contact/contactform.htm
- Senate Ranking Member: The Honorable Richard Shelby (R-AL) http://www.shelby.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/emailsenatorshelby
- House Ranking Member: The Honorable Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) https://lowey.house.gov/contact-form/
- Note that she has a disclaimer “Regrettably, I am unable to reply to any email from individuals residing outside of my congressional district.” Thus to reach her, one probably will need to fax or send mail to her office. Her contact information is:
Washington, D.C. Office
2365 Rayburn HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
2. Urge the following people to also write the above individuals about this issue
It is critical that we get as many people as possible to contact the following people so that they take notice and take action:
- Your institutional leaders
- Teachers, students and families who have benefited from NWABR’s programs
- Your colleagues
- Your professional associations
- Your friends, family and anyone else you have connections with
3. If you work for an institution, find out if your institution has a government relationships representative/lobbyist in Washington, DC and contact them – the attached information sheets may be helpful:
- Key Messages for NIH K-12 STEM Education
- NIH Health Biomedical Education Programs
- Contact them through institutional channels and request that they work to address this issue
The halt in NIH funding for K-12 and informal science and health education is not a done deal. Rumor is that members of Congress are receptive to a hearing, if the proposed consolidation will affect programs. With your support in writing these letters we can take a critical step towards moving them to act.
Again, we urge you to take this opportunity to show your support by making your voice heard immediately.
Please join us in educating our elected officials about this critical issue.
The NWABR Team