Kids learn to love geography at our Lower School and are inspired to be curious about the world around them! The Passport Club is a fun and easy way to improve our students’ global competency!
This successful parent-led club has been going on in our school for 18th years. Parents that volunteer with Passport Club understand the club’s primary purpose is to help students learn some (or all) of the world’s countries, and also to meet essential academic learning requirements for geography. Starting in the first-grade program adds 5-10 new countries per month so that by the end of 4th grade, students will know all 195 of the world’s current independent nations. Students can study however works best for them.
Every month, a new study map with countries for that month comes home with students that are participating in Passport Club. At the end of the month, our school conducts a “passport check” (a.k.a. “test”) for all of the students, by having them point at their countries on large maps. Our students discover through the process of “passport check” that geography is relevant and they are motivated to earn more stamps for their passport books. A 7th Grade parent commented a few weeks ago, “Our child frequently refers to countries and knows where they are in the world because of this club. In fact, recently we were doing a jigsaw puzzle of the world, without country names, and he said without hesitation, ‘The elephants go in Thailand.'”
It has become evident over the years that the understanding of geography at the elementary level provides a solid foundation for understanding the places and people with whom they will be competing and collaborating in the future. Also, our students can come into Middle School with a strong base to build off of in past conversations. Even our previous high school student credit the Passport Club with success in a World Geography class.
Passport Club is an individualized, sequential geography program. It is a nonprofit organization that started in Olympia in 1994. Students in 141 schools spread over 14 U.S. states and seven countries participated in this program. For more information about the global history of the Passport Club, please go to their website www.passportclubonline.com.
*Special thanks to Parents Actively Lending Support (PALS) for making programs like this successful at our school and supporting our students!