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image: My Wonderful World
The United States is connected to the world in many ways: trade agreements like NAFTA, military alliances such as NATO, and many others that form a nutritious acronym soup. What you may not realize is how many major U.S. global connections are household names. Check out my personal favorite, the Model UN Global Classrooms program. I participated as a high school student, then later awarded a grant to fund a version for inner-city youths.

Please join our October challenge by planning a Geography Awareness Week event for November's celebration. Don't forget: Next month, I am going to ask you to help us reach 100,000 new members by getting a friend to sign up for My Wonderful World.

Chris Shearer, My Wonderful World Director
Think Globally, Act Locally
Photo:Ours is a diverse world of many regions—both physical and political—but essentially we are one people inhabiting one planet. International governmental and nongovernmental organizations like the United Nations and the Red Cross bring us together to address issues facing Earth's residents and our shared resources.

This October, we're helping you learn about the important work of these organizations: It's a matter of global citizenship and of geography. And speaking of geography, with Geography Awareness Week (GAWeek) just one month away, we're asking you to plan NOW for your GAWeek celebration. So think globally and act locally in support of the flagship national event that brings knowledge of the world's politics and economics, cultures, and environments to students! This year's theme is Get Lost in Mapping: Find Your Place in the World. Visit the Geography Awareness Week website today for ideas and tools to explore mapping at home and at school, and keep checking back for new resources through November.
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International Education Week
Photo: sidebarGeography Awareness Week, November 15–21, is also the time when we celebrate International Education Week (IEW), a program of the U.S. Departments of State and Education. Check out the IEW website, where you'll find three geography quizzes based on questions from the National Geographic Bee, a map of IEW events occurring around the world, and a photo gallery. You can even download cool bookmarks and logos.

A Complex World: Explained
Photo: sidebarNational Geographic EarthPulse explores global connections through vivid imagery, maps, diagrams, and interactives that illuminate where we are today, how we got here, and how our actions may affect the future of life on Earth. The quality of life index includes a compelling map to help older students “define the gaps” around the world along measures such as educational attainment, food consumption, and happiness.
Global Classrooms
Photo: sidebarEstablished to help prepare students in underserved communities, Model UN Global Classrooms is an innovative educational program that engages middle school and high school students in an in exploration of current world issues through interactive simulations and curricular materials. Today, with the support of organizations like National Geographic, Global Classrooms works in 24 major cities around the world to cultivate literacy, life skills, and the attitudes necessary for active citizenship.
World Affairs Councils of America
Photo: sidebarThe World Affairs Councils (WACA) is an association of 90 independent nonprofit organizations in 39 states and the District of Columbia that work to engage and educate Americans on international affairs and foreign policy. Visit the WACA website to learn about the association's national programs, which include a lecture series, the Academic WorldQuest game, and World in Transition multimedia educational materials for teachers.
Terra Cotta Warriors
Photo: sidebarSoldiers. Charioteers. Archers. Musicians. Generals. Acrobats. Nearly 2,000 years ago, thousands of life-size clay figures were buried in massive underground pits to accompany China's first emperor, Qin Shihuangdi, into the afterlife. These extraordinary archaeological treasures will be at the National Geographic Museum from November 19, 2009, through March 31, 2010. For more ways to travel to Xi'an China without leaving the U.S., including a Terra Cotta Warriors Teacher's Guide, visit warriorsdc.org.
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Take Action
Photo:Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF
In 1950 a group of schoolkids in Philadelphia used milk cartons to collect $17 for kids on the other side of the world, and Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF was born. UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Fund) —has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization, it is working toward a day when "ZERO children die from preventable causes."

The Halloween campaign continues to be an essential fundraising project for UNICEF. Since 1950, participants have collected more than $144 million for children in need. This year, join in this beloved holiday tradition. Keep reading on the My Wonderful World blog to learn how.
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Take Action
Photo:Meet Me in Rio
It's official: The 2016 Olympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rio won the bid to host the Olympics following a hotly contested race against top candidate cities Tokyo, Japan; Madrid, Spain; and Chicago, U.S.A., which even saw President Obama take to the campaign trail.

The Rio Summer Games will be the first Olympics to take place in South America. Learn more about host cities and participating countries from 1896 to the present at the International Olympic Committee website. Our blogger friend at Geographic Travels has also compiled a breakdown of past Olympics, organized by host country and world region, that features some interesting geographic analysis. And what about those iconic—and sometimes controversial—Olympic logos? Join a discussion on the blog about the meaning and geography behind Olympic logos.
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Take Action
Get Lost in Blogging…
…find your voice on the Web! This Geography Awareness Week, My Wonderful World is celebrating by hosting our first annual Blog-a-thon. So, if you've been waiting for the right opportunity to join the conversation on all things geographic, now's your chance! Check out the blog for more details on how to participate, and tune in November 15–21 for news, stories, pictures, and more.
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