National Geographic : 1991 Sep
THE PRESIDENT'S REPORT ON THE Education Foundation DearMembers: Over the past few years, I've spo ken enthusiasticallyabout teachers who participatein the Society's cam paign to improve geography educa tion in our schools. There is another group whose involvement is equally meaningful-parents. I'd like to share with you three reports thathighlight the crucial role parentsplay in this effort. I am pleased that the Society has been able to be apart of these activities andpledge that we will continue to look for ways to encouragefamily involvement in education. GilbertM. Grosvenor Chairmanand President Parents Can Be Teachers Too To help her son David prepare for the National Geography Bee this year, Carol Stillman turned to the computer on their family farm in Nezperce, Idaho. Whenever she got a few minutes, she would type in facts until she had created a data base of information for him to study. It must have done some good, because 14-year-old David (top, at left) didn't miss a single question on May 23 at the national finals, moderated by Alex Trebek (above right). David won a $25,000 BOTHBY MARK scholarship for first place. Carlos De La Fuente (top, at right), 12, of Chan dler, Arizona, took second place and $15,000. Eliot Brenner, 14, of Rich mond, Virginia, won third place and $10,000. Some five million stu dents took part in the Bee, spon sored by National Geographic WORLD, Amtrak, and Kudos Snack. Gathered in the gymnasium of Mary Maguire Elementary School in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, 190 chil dren and parents participated in an evening of hands-on geography instruction in May. Using inflatable globes, laminated maps, and video taped news broadcasts about the Kurdish refugee crisis, they discussed the effect of distant events on the rest of the world. At the end of the eve ning each family left carry ing a map and a contract, signed by the student and parent, pledging to view and discuss the news together once a week for a period of ten weeks. The project is being sponsored by the Michigan Geo graphic Alliance and the Michigan Council for the Humanities. Fourth- and fifth-grade THIESSEN students at Monte Vista Elementary School in Santa Ana, California, helped their parents test a Spanish supplement to the NGS Kids Network last Feb ruary. As the students eagerly shouted directions-in both Span ish and English-parents gingerly tapped out commands on comput ers. For many it was their first time at a keyboard. The program, which is funded by the Telecommunications Education Trust of California, aims to make science more accessible to the grow ing number of Hispanic children in the state. Said one parent: "It makes me happy to see the wonder ful opportunity my child has to learn about computers." THE NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETYEDUCATIONFOUNDATIONWAS ESTABLISHEDIN 1988 TO HELP RAISEANDDISTRIBUTEFUNDSFOR EDUCATIONALANDSCIENTIFICPROGRAMS.