National Geographic : 1993 Jun
THE PRESIDENT'S REPORT ON THE Education Foundation Geographic Alliances All in Place Great pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, geographic alliances in Arizona, Washington, and Montana have this year joined 47 other states and Puerto Rico to complete the picture. Since I announced the first six states to join the Society's Geo graphic Alliance Network in 1986, the cause of geography education has mushroomed. Each alliance recruits local educators and others parents, elected officials, business people-to promote geography in the classroom. The alliances encour age updating of curricula and partic ipate in teachers workshops and summer institutes. Besides receiving state funds, alliances raise money from local organizations and compa nies. The Society's Education Foun dation matches those totals up to $50,000 a year. In seven years the alliances have grown beyond our dreams, with membership nearing 100,000. Most important, the alliance movement gets teachers fired up about geography. How's it working? Listen to Russ Bush, a Buckhannon, West Virginia, teacher who attend ed last year's Workshop on Water in Mammoth Lakes, California: "I am energized; it has made a difference in my teaching, and my colleagues find my enthusiasm contagious." Geography teacher Dorothy Schuyler of La Grange, Georgia, declares, "We are charging ahead to deal with the 'geo-ignorant' wherever we find them!" Rochester, New Hampshire, teacher Barbara Newton summed it up after last year's National Geo graphic Instructional Leadership Institute: "At a time when it has become popular to criticize public education, the alliance pursues a positive path in promoting geogra phy education. As an educator and parent, I applaud that." I applaud the tens of thousands of alliance members spreading the word of geography education. Still, we cannot become compla cent. Our commitment to geography education continues to grow. The Society is laying the groundwork for an education program in Canada, including a 1993 teachers workshop focusing on the St. Lawrence River. Two teachers from Russia will attend our Summer Geography Institute this year. We are adding more countries to the National Geo graphic Kids Network, which uses computer technology to link chil dren worldwide. Youngsters the world over are turning on to geography, and the alliances play a growing role in their excitement. J^/^-/ - ^ /~ S 1993 1992 S1990-91 1 1988-89 -1986-87 Color indicates the year that a geographic alliance was formed. THE NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY EDUCATIONFOUNDATIONWAS ESTABLISHEDTO RAISE AND DISTRIBUTE FUNDS FOR EDUCATIONALAND SCIENTIFIC PROGRAMS.