Do you remember those educational concerts? I was an excited fifth-grader standing on the stage of Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, chosen to narrate Paul Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” at the N.C. Symphony Education Concert. The audience consisted of hundreds of children, who had traveled on buses to this free concert with their devoted school music teachers. We were mesmerized by the music and the story — several years before the Disney version. But when the cartoon arrived with Mickey Mouse and those crazy brooms, we already knew it because of the N.C. Symphony!
That was 54 years ago, and the symphony continues to travel even more extensively throughout the state each school year to thrill our children. However, the yearly state appropriation that helps support these concerts has not increased in 15 years and has shrunk to less than 20 percent of the symphony budget.
For the sake of the children and their teachers, we cannot let these unique concerts or our symphony fail! Please make a contribution and buy tickets to support this cultural treasure. Also solicit your legislators to support HB 1550. We must preserve this grand orchestra that feeds the souls of N.C. citizens, young and old alike!
Mary Susan Fulghum, M.D.
I don’t get it. I am a second-grade teacher in Onslow County and am so disturbed, upset and baffled about the recent teacher and state worker furlough. Every single teacher, teacher assistant and state worker I’ve been in contact with feels the same — like a lamb to the slaughter.
I’m not responsible for the way our tax money has been utilized and managed in Raleigh. That’s not what I get paid to do. So why am I giving North Carolina state government $250 of money that I have worked so hard to earn in order to make up for spending decisions that may not have truly benefited and affected the state — especially our children?
The ironic piece of this decision-making is that we received a mere one month’s notice. And just in time for Teacher Appreciation Week.
I have a master’s degree, am nationally board certified and work diligently for my children. I spend so much of my personal money to ensure that my kids have snack every day and have all necessary school supplies, and I even shop for personal items for them so that they don’t go without (yes, I do ask for donations). I will continue to do so because I will not allow my students to be hurt by this decision.
And the “time off” is not a trade-off. We can take this time only when our kids are not here. That translates to use of time during workdays. Most of the workdays at the beginning of our year are locked in. The other days have to be used to set up our classrooms (and even then there is not enough time to fully prepare).
It has been said that we should be thankful just to have jobs. I don’t see it that way. I think that North Carolina lawmakers are blessed to have such dedicated, hard-working teachers and teacher assistants who selflessly give of themselves emotionally, physically and financially every day in order to ensure a brighter future for North Carolina.