National Geographic Education Foundation

What We Fund

Photo: DC Photo Camp
Foundation grants support programs such as National Geographic Photo Camp, a workshop for youth from underserved communities both in and outside the United States. Working with newspapers and community organizations, Photo Camp inspires young people to explore their communities through the camera lens and share their vision through presentations and exhibitions. The program is sponsored by the Foundation's Ferguson-Judge Fund and conducted by National Geographic's Mission Programs in partnership with VisionWorkshops.
Photograph courtesy National Geographic

Through its grant programs, National Geographic's Education Foundation strives to reach school-age children inside the classroom and out.

Our grantmaking targets large-scale issues, such as improving the stature of geography in the curriculum, ensuring federal funding for geography education programs, and improving public awareness of the importance of geographic literacy.

We also support innovations that directly affect children's education, such as providing their teachers with professional development and engaging kids in experiential, hands-on learning.

Professional Development
Underlying much of our work is a national network of "geography alliances," state-based partnerships between local teachers and universities that connect educators with one another, offer professional development opportunities, and promote educational innovation at state and local levels. Our grants support educator training that builds on the voluntary U.S. National Geography Standards.

Examples of our grantmaking to support local educators include providing virtual teacher workshops on a range of geographic topics, offering field-based experiences as a part of in-service training, and offering pre-service workshops for new social studies teachers.

Policy Reform
All "core" academic discipline—except geography—receive federal help.

National Geographic and other leading geography education groups are trying to remedy this by working with members of Congress to bring geography into parity with other core disciplines, such as math, science, English, and history.

Find out more about our Policy Reform initiative.

Public Engagement
The Education Foundation works to help Americans realize the extent to which geography is more than simply learning about places and locations—instead it is an understanding of the interconnections of people, places, and environments and their impact on our lives. In 2006, we joined with a coalition of national business and non-profit partners to launch a public engagement campaign called My Wonderful World. The campaign aims to energize parents and educational leaders on behalf of geography education.