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Kentucky Geographic Alliance receives National Geographic grant

The Kentucky Geographic Alliance (KGA) has received a grant of $34,500 from the National Geographic Education Foundation (NGEF), one of 51 grants awarded this year to the Network of Alliances for Geographic Education by NGEF. These grants, totaling $2,414,466, help support 46 state-based Alliances as well as those in the District of Columbia, Chicago and Canada.

The Kentucky Geographic Alliance is housed at WKU. Co-coordinators are Dr. S. Kay Gandy in WKU’s School of Teacher Education and Scott Dobler in WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology.

The Network of Alliances is a grassroots organization dedicated to supporting geographic education. Each Alliance is a partnership between university faculty and K-12 educators that connects educators, provides world-class professional development for teachers, creates and disseminates educational resources, boosts public awareness of the importance of geography and advocates for public policies that will lead to improvements in geography education. For more than 20 years, NGEF and the Alliances have worked collaboratively to catalyze geography education reform across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

“NGEF is advancing geo-literacy across the country by supporting programs, activities and materials that current research, educators and experience tell us are the most effective ways to teach geography in the classroom,” said Bob Dulli, NGEF deputy director. “In the 21st century, we are more connected than ever. Geography education helps students better understand this interconnected world and how it impacts their lives, which is essential to both their future and the future of this country.”

Since 1988, NGEF has awarded more than $85 million in grants to promote and advance geographic education. In addition to funding from NGEF, the majority of Alliances receive financial support from other sources, including state and private support. More than 30 Alliances have permanent endowments for geography education within the Foundation.

Alliances strengthen geography education through a variety of programs and initiatives. The Kentucky Geographic Alliance has been active in Kentucky since the 1980s, with programs ranging from professional development workshops for teachers, to the publication of a monthly newsletter called Kentucky in the News, to the development of a Kentucky atlas for 4th through 8th grade students. For more information on the KGA, visit www.kga.org.

About National Geographic: Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. With a mission to inspire people to care about the planet, the member-supported Society offers a community for members to get closer to explorers, connect with other members and help make a difference. The Society reaches more than 450 million people worldwide each month through 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 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.

Contact: Kay Gandy, (270) 745-2991 or kay.gandy@wku.edu

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