Welcome to Geography Awareness Week 2011!

Our theme this year, The Adventure in Your Community encourages Florida students to get out and explore their local surroundings! The goal is to heighten awareness of our amazing Florida communities and celebrate locally what it means to be a Floridian. The exercises on this poster require you to use maps and other sources to learn more about our communities and to apply that knowledge to news events unfolding today. Whether they are stories about our fragile ecosystems or debating the benefits of a high speed rail for Florida's citizens, our communities are in the news.

Each year, the Wednesday of Geography Awareness Week is dedicated to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and we are excited to bring both GIS and a digital connection via on-line activities and numerous games to this year's program. As an added feature this year you are invited to participate in a community mapping project. Students from all around the state are asked to think about their favorite place in their local community and share that place with us by Wednesday, November 16, 2011. The place should be somewhere you would take a visitor or new friend that is moving to your community to relax, enjoy or have fun. To participate, all you have to do is identify your favorite place, find an address, or better yet, take a GPS point for the location, and write a sentence or two describing what it is and why you think someone should visit! Then go to the Geography Awareness Week website and click the Community Maps link and input your information. If you would like to add a digital photo, you can send one along with the address or GPS point, but it is not necessary to participate. Once all of the places have been sent in, a map of all of your recommended "Must See" places will be published on the GAW website.

We hope that students and families who participate in this year's Geography Awareness Week program will come away with a new understanding of how fun maps can be and the important role we play as citizens in our Florida Communities.

Speak Up for Geography: The 10,000 Letter Challenge

The goal of this public campaign is simple: to send 10,000 letters to Congress in support of the bipartisan Teaching Geography is Fundamental (TGIF) Act by November 18, 2011. This date marks the ending of Geography Awareness Week 2011 and the last day of the Congressional session before the Thanksgiving recess.

For free downloads of 10,000 Letter Challenge resources--display ads, postcards, flyers, and a widget for your website--go to https://sites.google.com/site/speakupforgeography/. As always, it's easy to send letters to Congress from http://speakupforgeography.org.

Are you wondering which state has logged the largest number of TGIF supporters by House district at SpeakUpForGeography.org? Nebraska has earned this distinction in no small part because of the work of Geographic Educators of Nebraska Coordinator Randy Bertolas. When asked about his efforts to promote TGIF through SpeakUpForGeography.org, Randy said "via our Alliance membership email list, we strongly encourage all of our teachers and administrators to become involved with this mission".

Click here for the 2011 Geography Awareness Week Media Kit. If you would like, please feel free to send it to your local media sources and email lamsadl@aol.com letting her know you did so.
Copyright © 2011 The Florida Geographic Alliance