I’m a member of Illinois Geographic Alliance and a long-time educator in Pekin Public Schools District 108 in Pekin, Ill. On Feb. 26, I will join educators from around the country in Washington, D.C., with one mission: urging Congress to pass the Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act, to ensure that American students are equipped to work and live in an increasingly globalized world.
Many Americans do not realize that despite geography being named a “core academic subject,” it is the only core subject to never have received dedicated federal funding.
Geography education is much more than kids knowing countries and capitals. There is an enormous demand in both the public and private sectors for individuals with the ability to interpret and analyze geographic information. There are new jobs in geospatial technology each year, but we are not training Americans to fill them. That is a massive blow to our global competitiveness.
TGIF would establish grant programs to expand geographic literacy among American students and improve K-12 teacher preparation. As I fight for better geography education in Illinois, I urge all Americans to visit www.SpeakUpForGeography.org and use the online tool to contact their members of Congress asking them to support TGIF and support America’s future.
— Leonard Ealey, Pekin