Coordinator’s Message

Dear CGA Member,

We are very excited to announce that CCSU has taken on the role of the CT Geographic Alliance. As we make the transition, we will continue to work with UCONN and several other members on the committee to keep the Alliance dedicated to our goals. We look forward to working with the leaders and teachers throughout Connecticut to continue to improve geography and social studies education in the classrooms. We encourage you to consider joining one of these committees to get involved with our terrific programs throughout the state. It is a great way to meet fun new colleagues and work on meaningful projects.

Here is a brief description of committees that would love your help:

Mission-Message Committee: This permanent committee works to spread word of the importance of geo-literacy. Activities range from lobbying members of the state legislature and our congressional delegation, to organizing letter-writing campaigns, to representing CGA and presenting at state and regional educational conferences, to working with school boards and the state department of education on integrating Geography into the curriculum. Committee Chair Bill DeGrazia (

Capacity Building Committee: This permanent committee enhances the ability of the CGA to carry out its mission and engage its members. Activities include developing and implementing our strategic plan, developing fund-raising and marketing materials (brochures and website), identifying and working with potential funders, working with developing and implementing curricular standards related to C3 and the Common Core, and organizing membership events. Committee Chair Tom Brodnitzki (

Public Offerings Committee: This permanent committee coordinates all of our programs for teachers, pre-service teachers, students, and the public. Activities include coordinating professional development offerings and opportunities, offering professional development programs, coordinating Geography programs like the National Geographic Giant Floor Maps, and working with other long-standing offerings that have committees of their own like the Geo-Bee, the High School Geo-Challenge, and the Newspapers in Education program. There may be opportunities to make some money if you are interested in developing and offering professional development programs. This could be doing your own programs (feel free to suggest programs you might be interested in offering!) or helping with a program like Ed Argenta’s popular summer workshops or the PIER Summer institutes on international education at Yale. Committee Co-Chairs Kristie Blanchard ( and Allyson Lubs (

GIS Curriculum committee: We are in the early stages of developing a standards-based, GIS curriculum for schools (probably grades 4-12) in Connecticut. If you have an interest in building curriculum (GIS experience is not necessary), this is a project that we hope will lead to widespread adoption and also has the potential for additional pay, both for developing the curriculum and for training teachers. Contact Andy Jolly-Ballantine if you are interested:

Giant Map of Connecticut: We are creating a Giant Floor Map of Connecticut that will have associated instructional materials and travel around the state. Volunteers are appreciated for developing the map and associated curricular materials, as well as helping to find sponsors for the map. The map is being coordinated by Matt Zenko (, Kristie Blanchard (, Allyson Lubs (, Richard Benfield (, and Ashley Stephens (


Geo-Bee organizing committee: The Geography Bee is a fun day-long event for middle schoolers where they are quizzed on their knowledge of Geography. While not specifically a program of the CGA, we support the Geo-Bee by finding volunteers to help with the event. Geo Bee chair Allyson Lubs (

Connecticut High School Geo-Challenge: The high school geo-challenge is a popular, day-long event where 18 high school teams compete in geographic activities including orienteering, geographic problem solving, map interpretation, and a geography quiz. We need volunteers to help develop the various activities and to help with logistics on the day of the event. Geo-challenge chair Kathy Ryan (

Please contact the chair of the committee at the e-mail provided if you are interested. Thank you again for your participation in furthering geo-literacy in Connecticut!


Dr Richard W. Benfield


Dr Richard W. Benfield

Coordinator, Connecticut Geography Alliance

Department of Geography

Central Connecticut State University

(860) 832-2879