Thursday, October 13, 2011

Geography Awareness Week press release



HONEA PATH (October 13, 2011)—(SC) will participate in several community activities as well as online activities as part of Geography Awareness Week, Nov. 13-19. “Geography: The Adventure in Your Community” is the theme of Geography Awareness Week 2011, which is supported by National Geographic and partner organizations. This year’s sponsor is the Geo-literacy Coalition Founding Council, composed of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, CH2M HILL, Esri and the National Geographic Society.

Established by presidential proclamation in 1987, Geography Awareness Week is an annual public awareness program organized by National Geographic Education Programs that encourages citizens young and old to engage in fun, educational experiences that draw attention to geo-literacy, the interconnectedness of our world and the importance of geography education.

“This year’s theme explores the idea of community geography and promotes geo-literacy by showing one can discover a nearly unlimited amount of new and amazing things, right in one’s own backyard, just by using geographic skills and perspectives,” said Danny Edelson, National Geographic’s vice president for education.

The Geography Awareness Week Web page hosted on National Geographic Education Programs’ new award-winning website offers access to activities, lesson plans, games and more, relating to community geography. The site features contributions from National Geographic and partner organizations such as Newspapers in Education, World Savvy and National Council for Geographic Education. Educators and parents will find valuable lists of recommended books, videos, geographer profiles and family-friendly games. The website also features opportunities to join nearly 100,000 geography supporters in promoting geo-literacy. Resources are provided on how to host a local Geography Awareness Week event, such as a community festival or a Geography Trivia Night.

Site visitors also can read and contribute to a Geography Awareness Week Blog-a-Thon, updated multiple times daily with commentary and multimedia features.

A link to National Geographic’s Global Action Atlas offers connections to people and organizations that are improving their local areas through community-based projects. Another link, to Speak Up for Geography, invites visitors to write to their senators and representatives to request federal funding for geography education.

To celebrate Geography Awareness Week, National Geographic is partnering with the U.K.-based nonprofit organization The Geography Collective, a group of geography teachers, academics and activists who are encouraging young people to see the world in new ways. Through the group’s customized Geography Awareness Week website, kids of all ages will find home- or community-based activities to explore how photography, storytelling, mapping and taking action can open new worlds. By completing a series of “missions,” individuals or teams can earn badges in each of these categories. Earning all four badges will show they are able to see their community and the rest of the world with deeper understanding.

Additionally, during Geography Awareness Week, grassroots organizers around the country will host events, workshops and contests at local schools and community centers.

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 400 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 9,600 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit National Geographic.

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