I teach World History to children from a beautiful area of the Blue Ridge Mountains. They are a great bunch of kids, only the district is small and they do not have the money to give these children the opportunities that they deserve. Economically our area is hurting, with massive cuts in the state and school budget, which will affect the learning opportunities of my children more than the same cuts will affect a much larger district. Every little tool that can help them gain academic success might mean them moving on to college rather than settling for something less.
We are looking at a budget shortfall of between 9.5-15% for our school district, with pay freezes and massive early retirement with no replacement of personnel. There is no way that our district can provide the materials that will help our children gain academic success, and with much larger class sizes the children face greater obstacles to their learning. Something this small, a map they can actually see, will help them gain a better understanding of the material they are required to know for their End Of Course Tests, so they can gain academic confidence.
The map will allow the students to see and understand the relationship of each nation with another, how some historical events progressed as they did, and give them a frame of reference to allow understanding of material that has been covered. The map will also allow application of information learned, as students explain how an historical event unfolded due to proximity or the geography of an area.
As one of the most developed nations on Earth, our most precious resource, our children, should not be hobbled by the lack of simple materials that can help them gain success. How often do different television programs highlight the ignorance of the American public on historical or geographical information. I don't want that to be one of my children.
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