Children's Book Author Wants Our Children to Know More About Geography

BOCA RATON, FL--(Marketwire - Oct 13, 2011) - In March, Senator Thad Cochran introduced a bill that would fund a four-year, $60 million program to enhance the teaching of geography in public schools around the country. Currently in committee, the bill was applauded by few people as loudly as Lisa Manzione.

As a mom and advocate of geographic literacy, Manzione has a strong understanding of the value of teaching other cultures to children. She has authored a globally-focused children's book series "The Adventures of Bella and Harry" ( where each book takes place in a different country.

"Geography isn't just memorizing where countries are on a map," said Manzione. "It's about understanding the cultures that go along with each country and the process for understanding those cultures has to start early. If our children are going to thrive in the newly globalized economy, and prepare for the nearly 70,000 new jobs geotechnology is adding to the U.S. each year, they need this program."

According to the Department of Labor geotechnology is one of the three fastest growing employment fields serving industries such as insurance, banking, real estate, forestry and agriculture, as well as state and federal governments.

"We need this program, because our children aren't learning geography under the current curriculums available," Manzione added. "In a recent National Geographic-Roper 9 country survey of geographic literacy among young adults aged 18 through 24, students in the U.S ranked second to last. Only 13 percent of young adults aged 18 through 24 in the U.S. were able to correctly identify Iraq on a map of Asia and the Middle East."

The irony is that National Geographic also surveyed school districts around the country and discovered that all 50 states and the District of Columbia recognize geography in their curricula or content standards. Moreover, an increasing number require geography for graduation and include geography in mandated statewide assessments.

That's one of the reasons why Manzione wrote her children's books. Her desire is to open children to the world around them, show them the value that other cultures can bring them and also for them to learn more about what it is to be an American.

About Lisa Manzione

Lisa Manzione is a financial professional, children's book author, geographic literacy advocate and mother of two children, ages 21 and 23.

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Ginny Grimsley