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URGENT: Walkabout Briarcliff Budget – Your Help Is Needed

**PLEASE POST THIS MESSAGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND FORWARD TO ALL INTERESTED PARTIES**

Friends of Walkabout,

Your help is urgently needed.

The Briarcliff School District budget was voted down on May 21. The new budget that the Board is proposing does NOT include Walkabout. Briarcliff’s decision to cut their 4 students from the program could very well be the final straw for Walkabout. The economy has forced some very difficult decisions for every school board. We need to let Briarcliff know that their decision to cut the program will not just effect the 4 students slated for next year, but also the 25 students from other districts expecting to go next year AND every student every year thereafter. It is widely accepted that if the program is cancelled for next year that it will be gone forever.

Since the program’s second year, Briarcliff has been one of Walkabout’s biggest supporters. They have sent students for 35 consecutive years. Walkabout is an integral part of the educational experience that Briarcliff offers. Walkabout ensures that there is indeed a place for every Briarcliff student.

What can you do to help?

1) We need every single Briarcliff resident who cares about Walkabout – whether they have (or had) kids at Walkabout or they just simply understand how important the program is – the SHOW UP AT 7PM ON MONDAY JUNE 3 AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL AUDITORIUM. 444 Pleasantville Rd, Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510. Every additional person that we have in that room will help to prevent the closure of Walkabout. I will be there with my parents.
2) If you are a current Briarcliff resident, send an email BEFORE MONDAY to the Briarcliff School Board telling them not to cut Walkabout. If you or your family know any of the Board members, please call them too. Their info can be found here:  http://briarcliff.ss.syntaxcom.com/boardofeducation/  (click envelop icon for emails)
3) Come to the Walkabout Presentations and tell others to come as well. The Walkabout Presentations will be held on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week at 7pm at the BOCES main campus in Yorktown. If you know a school board member, administrator, teacher, guidance counselor, please convince them to come. We need as many people as possible to see the true power of Walkabout. This is their chance to see it first hand.
4) If you haven’t done so already, please sign up on our website:   walkabout.org/signup
    We need to hear from everyone (alumni, parents, grandparents, teachers, guidance counselors, everyone!) please sign up.
5) Post this email on your Facebook page. Forward it to everyone you know who cares about the program.
We started the Walkabout Education Foundation to ensure that the Walkabout experience is available to as many students as possible (more than the 40 or so that get this great opportunity each year). It would be a great tragedy if this 36 year old institution fell victim to the economy, at just the time when economic recovery is imminent.
See you on Monday night,
Ben Wild
Walkabout 17
Other facts to know:
  • The Board is faced with difficult decisions. We must only approach them in a friendly way, they are there to help us. We need to simply inform them of the great merits of the program and not approach them in anger.
  • The Briarcliff Board stated that their objective with this new budget was to: “has the least impact on students and instructional programs” and “maintain the quality of a Briarcliff student’s education”. They have failed on both of these points if Walkabout goes away forever.
  • In our recent survey (which included our 204 of the 1453 Walkabout alumni):
  • 95% said that “Walkabout made me the person that I am today”
  • 63% said that “Walkabout saved my life“.
  • 30% of Walkabout alumni either have or are currently pursuing a Masters degree. That’s almost FOUR TIMES the 8% of the US population that has a Master’s Degree.
  • How many educational programs can make those claims?

Contact WEF about the Briarcliff/Pocantico school budget, or other Walkabout Program issues, using this form:

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