The Mission-Message Committee has been working on a number of items to help advocate for geography across the curriculum. This past spring Bill DeGrazia and CGA Coordinator Andy Jolly-Ballantine “stormed Capitol Hill” in Washington, DC to seek co-sponsorships for “Teaching Geography is Fundamental.” The proposed bills, H.R. 822 and S.370, would dedicate funds for geo-literacy.
Bill and Andy were well-received by all members of the Connecticut delegation. It was agreed that they would co-sponsor the bill and/or support it when it comes to a vote. Co-sponsors like Rosa DeLauro see the value of geography for K-12 education. Congressman Jim Himes looks at job creation through geospatial technologies. Longtime supporter Joe Courtney discussed career preparation as a key issue, especially in a district that includes the University of Connecticut and the submarine industry in Groton. John Larson, a former Social Studies educator, sees the need for geography in the classroom. Newly-elected Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty was encouraged by her son’s interest in GIS and the applications that geography provides for businesses and communities. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy have shown their support in discussions with the CGA and teachers across the state. You can show your support by thanking them by visiting your favorite search engine and typing in Speak Up for Geography.
The Mission-Message Committee also contacts state stakeholders including state representatives, school superintendents, principals, curriculum coordinators, teachers, and citizens to advocate for geography in the classroom. We also direct letter writing/email campaigns. The CGA provides tables and materials at local, state, and regional conferences and has provided a strong presence at NERC, CCSS, CSTA, and CABE/CAPPS conferences, GIS Day, and the League of Women Voters of New Haven annual conference.
If you would like to advocate for geography and join this committee, please contact Mission-Message Chair William A. DeGrazia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Committee is planning a meeting early in the new year to map out our strategies to give geography its place in a well-rounded Connecticut education K-12+.