MOVCA and Wood County Schools

As a member of the Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action (MOVCA) Educational Outreach Team, I was dismayed to read Mr. Mullen’s bombastic, disparaging editorial published on Nov. 25. I am responding to provide an accurate description of our organization and its relationship with Mid-Ohio Valley schools. Contrary to the misstatements in Mr. Mullen’s writing, MOVCA is a diverse group of local citizens who represent a spectrum of political and religious affiliations, ages, and vocations. None of us is a card-carrying member of the Communist Party. Our common concern about the worsening effects of changing global climate, as addressed by the recent reports from the United Nations, the U.S. government, and climate scientists around the world has brought us together. Our purpose is to share objective information with our community.

The MOVCA Educational Outreach Team currently has eight members, three with science backgrounds and five of whom are certified teachers — of which one is a former Science Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator for the WV Department of Education. We were invited into science classes in grades 6-12 in Wood County public and private schools to present information on human-caused and natural climate change that supports the WV Science curriculum. We take care to be non-political and science-based in everything we present to students and science teachers. We do not supplant the approved state curriculum, but rather support its content. (The WV DOE strongly encourages teachers to bring supporting personnel into the classrooms for presentations.) We urge students to use the science concepts and scientific processes they are learning to analyze available information and make decisions about what are or are not research-based facts. We tell students NOT to trust what we say, but to use science to verify the information presented. Our presentations have produced outstanding evaluations from the teachers whose classes we visit and who always remain in the room during our slide shows.

Mr. Mullen’s opinions, as expressed on his various websites and blogs, include the statement that “we take back America by taking back our schools.” This quote implies that something is wrong with our school systems and what they teach our children. MOVCA does not agree with this sentiment. We are volunteers working to support our local school systems and the curricula that have been selected and vetted by local and State Boards and Departments of Education.

We welcome any readers to attend MOVCA meetings (third Thursday of each month, 7 pm, First Christian Church, Washington Avenue, Parkersburg) to discuss and learn more about climate issues. If you or your group are interested in our school presentations, we would be happy to consider presenting for you at a public meeting.

Jorie W. Kennedy, Member

MOVCA Educational Outreach Team