This semester the North Nodaway Elementary school received a geographical map from the Geography Club. This will be the fourth map the Geography Club has done since starting this program. These maps are stenciled to the playground for students to interact with and learn from. The purpose of the map is to give kids an understanding of geography and to bring the classroom outside. The map was made with the help of Lowes volunteers and parents of the school. The Geography Club plans to do another map in the spring of 2021.
The schools are chosen based on different criteria. Such factors include whether kids are on free or reduced lunch or how far away the school is from campus. These factors translate to points and whoever has the most points ends up selected. The maps are created by either using the world or state stencils that are placed by the school grounds. The Geography Club uses parking lot paint to outline the map then go through and paint the rest by hand.
Brian Salsberry is the president of the Geography Club. He discusses the purpose and goals of the club.
“It gives kids a good basic understanding of the geography of the United States,’’ Salsberry said. “That also brings the classroom outside for kids at an early age, a grasp on the layout of where states are located, which I think is very important.”
Dawn Drake is the advisor of the Geography Club and is responsible for helping put projects like this one together.
“I just basically facilitate helping them figure out what's going on. Negotiate things that we need to negotiate in terms of working with a school principal or something like that,” Drake said. “Providing them with some legitimacy so the principal's know that they're doing what they say they're going to do.”
Due to COVID-19, the Geography Club has not been able to recently meet. Brian Salsberry discusses the future plans of the geography club.
“We want to continue to do these maps. We try to do one each semester,’’ Salsberry said. “This is the fourth one that we've done. And due to COVID, it's changed a lot of things on campus and it kind of, I think, inhibited the growth of our club but at the same time I think that going forward we want to continue to keep doing at least maps.”