Longwood University has been named the host institution of the Virginia Geographic Alliance, a statewide partnership between college professors and K-12 teachers dedicated to improving geographic awareness and skills.

Longwood’s Dr. Edward Kinman, professor of geography and assistant dean for the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences, has also been named coordinator of the Virginia Geographic Alliance, part of National Geographic.

"The partnership between Longwood and the VGA is a perfect match," said Kinman. "Virginia Geographic Alliance’s mission of professional development, model programs and public awareness combined with Longwood’s history and expertise in teacher development makes an association that can have a real impact on schools and students in Virginia."

Formed in 1986, the Virginia Geographic Alliance has conducted hundreds of professional development activities for teachers and pre-service teachers ranging from three-week field based institutes to one-hour conference workshops. In April, both Kinman and Longwood University’s Katie Register, the director of Clean Virginia Waterways, will host a workshops at historic Hull Springs Farm in Westmoreland County on the historic Potomac River. The workshops, geared toward effective professional development, not only promote authentic learning experiences but also empower teachers with a sense of responsibility and provide a foundation for community-based service learning.

"Geo-literacy is an important movement in environmental education for our children," said Kinman. "It’s an interdisciplinary approach to geographic education that puts an emphasis on understanding past and present conditions to spur responsible action for the future of our planet." The movement, a major part of National Geographic’s education platform, combines several different areas of study—English, history, economics and civics—with geography to prepare students to make positive impacts on an increasingly interconnected world.

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