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Reaching out to schools, school districts, or teachers directly

If you don’t see a school in your area that is currently enrolled in the Esri Schools Program (browse tab 1 here to view currently enrolled schools) remember that one of the ways you can help as a GeoMentor is to recruit teachers and schools to participate!  Help them sign up for the opportunity for free software for their school.

One way to get started might be to make an appointment with an IT specialist, librarian, principal, or superintendent at a school in your local community. Find out how the school currently implements different technologies and what the school hopes to achieve. Think about how those educational goals can be supported with GIS and geospatial technology.

Template Letter for Contacting Schools and Educators new to the Esri Schools program and GeoMentors Programs.   Use this template to craft your communication with a school and/or educator to start a collaboration.

Some questions to ask during your visit that will help you ascertain the school’s needs are:

  • Is your school involved in the Esri Schools Program?
  • How does your school make use of instructional technologies in the curriculum?
  • What goals do you have for instructional technology in your school?
  • Does your school offer any geography courses, including AP Human Geography?
  • How familiar are your teachers with GIS and geospatial technology?

By seeking answers to questions such as these, you can better craft a message that convinces school leaders to join the Esri Schools Program and/or incorporate geospatial technology and geographic thinking. Emphasize the following points:

  • There is no cost to be involved in the Esri Schools Program and signing up is simple
  • Geography and geospatial technologies provide critical knowledge and skills for employment
  • GIS and geographic learning can support teachers in all types of classrooms and subjects
  • There is a small learning curve and many applications can be done successfully with no prior knowledge of GIS

Also consider how other educational organizations such as a 4-H club or Scouts group might benefit from participation in the Esri Schools program. Your choices as a GeoMentor are not limited to private and public K-12 schools, so please feel free to reach out to informal education groups, clubs and organizations as well.

Questions? Email geomentors@aag.org.