Ta for the compliments.
Always keep in mind how long it took you to come around. I know you want better for your kids, but perhaps they need to take the same path you did.
Think a step further: why would they be shocked and horrified to find out you're an atheist? Partly because of the stigma attached to us by the religious, but ultimately they would be afraid for you. You reject God, so you're going to hell, that sort of thing. The most important thing when it comes out, and it will, is to let them know that you are not afraid yourself. (Another little fact which might help is the idea that not everyone who claims to be religious really is.)
At that, they'll either ask why not or argue with you. You'll then have a line of communication open, and it's up to you. Expect your husband to get involved, and make no attempt to make this happen behind his back. Just be open, and listen to them all.
I grew up religious too, as you might have read in another answer of mine. What first set me on the road to doubt was the fact that my father was an atheist. He didn't talk about it AT ALL, he just told me once and that was it. I wondered why, and later, I found my own reasons.
As for kids' books, I recommend the children's and young adult books of Terry Pratchett. A humanist himself, his books often encourage critical thinking despite having fantastical premises. A favourite of mine is The Wee Free Men. Later, perhaps they'd enjoy his other Discworld books.
Incidentally, I just watched Happy Feet and the anti-religion message in that is fairly obvious.
I wonder which is worse, that your graduate in Kentucky is an embarrassment to your program or that their graduate from your program is an asset to the museum.
There are no grounds for holding the current student back based on beliefs as long as he/she is actually doing good work in molecular genetics. There's even room in the field proper for a young-earth creationist, because such a person might still contribute to our understanding of short-term processes while avoiding the long-term ones.
At the first attempt to use the science or the qualification to support creationism, however, things change. The moment young-earth or design "evidence" comes through in a paper, project or thesis, that's when every molecular geneticist in the vicinity needs to come down on your wunderkind like a ton of bricks - firstly by answering the claims themselves, of course.
If that happens while the student is still in the program, great, you might be able to keep it in the family. If it happens afterwards, rebuttals and refutations from your own academics need to be right on top of the pile. The message needs to be that the science of molecular genetics itself does not support these claims, and therefore this graduate is not applying it correctly because of separate beliefs.
One way or another, keep an eye on this person.
If you get right down to it, it's impossible to know the truth about what happened five minutes ago. Perhaps our memories are false and the evidence is planted. Same with the Bible, or for that matter any book which claims to be non-fiction.
Theists often claim God as their star witness. The problem is that in order to claim He was there and so claim historical authority on the origin of life, or the universe, you must first establish God's existence by other means entirely or your reasoning is circular.
Science looks for the best natural explanations. It has to make certain assumptions, things like the reliability of our collective memories and the constancy of physical laws (most of the time), but these are all assumptions which have yet to be contradicted. If you want to question science as a whole, you need to find a way to put these basic things in real doubt, and that's hard.
The atheist material is great to have with you, because there's so little of it around and it'll always be a surprise to an evangelist. Where do you get yours?
This is a question for you out there, not us in here. Little help?
You're not the first one to ask about the Church of Reality. Here's the previous question on the subject.
First off, it's not guaranteed that there was a Jesus at all. It's pretty likely, all up, but there's no available physical evidence. Religious historians work from a set of documents about his life, most of which likely reference one another anyway. The most famous of these documents are of course the four Gospels that were selected for the Bible. There were many other Gospels which weren't.
Here is an apologetic site which argues that Jesus claimed to be God, or the son of God, or whatever. (I won't get into the whole Trinity argument about whether the two are separate.) The support given is exclusively Gospel quotes, and all but two of them are from John. Even the John quotes are not all explicit or delivered in the first person, especially when you consider the idea that we're all God's children, and He's everyone's Father.
Jesus himself probably never wrote a word in his life. It's not surprising given that literacy in the area was about 3%. Everything he said, if he said it, is filtered through at least one chronicler, or journalist if you like. That's even before translation and interpretation began. Nothing about him is straight from the horse's mouth.
Furthermore, none of the four Gospels was written within 20 years of Jesus' death. As far as we know, nothing was written about him in that time. The fact that the life expectancy was 25-30 years casts doubt on two things: that his actual companions wrote the Gospels named for them, and that the people who saw him would still be alive and able to corroborate or contradict the accounts (again, remember the literacy rate). Perhaps there was a reason the writers waited.
There's a major line of apologetic which argues that Jesus would not have sacrificed himself if he had not believed in his own divinity, and the apostles would not have carried on his message if they hadn't witnessed the resurrection with their own eyes. I've discussed that elsewhere. I won't deny that it can be a compelling argument, because it convinces a lot of people. That's not to say that it's necessarily sound.
Even if you accept a priori that Jesus and the apostles were all sincere, which I personally doubt, there are still ways in which they could be mistaken. One way is if a false resurrection was perpetrated by other people entirely, using a Jesus double. The Bible suggests that very few people actually saw Jesus after his death anyway, and were convinced simply by the empty tomb. If that's all it took to convince the average Israelite, hoaxers must have had it pretty easy back then.
With my kind of brain, I look at it probabilistically. One estimates for oneself the probability, given the assumption that the accounts of Jesus are mostly accurate, that he was actually divine and not just lying for a good cause or honestly mistaken. One then estimates the separate probability that the accounts of Jesus really are mostly accurate.
One then has to multiply the two probabilities together (converting into fractions first), and if they come to 50% or more then it's more likely than not (though not at all certain) that Jesus was divine. For that to happen, the two probabilities need an average of at least 70.7%. I'm not that sure by a long shot. How about you?