Geography made personal

Xiao lives with his father, mother, grandmother, and older brother in a tiny village near Wuxi (woo shee), an ancient city in the east of China. After learning of his father's diabetes diagnosis, the 17-year-old Xiao found a full-time job to help support his family.

Xiao's story is one of 22 real-life personal stories that are part of the new middle-grades curriculum program, myWorld Geography, launched today from the education, services, and technology company Pearson. Pearson's social studies authors along with journalists from the Financial Times newspaper searched the globe for teenagers to serve as ambassadors for each region represented in the digital and print chapters of the standards-based geography program.

The program enables students and teachers to explore the world's geography and history through the myStory ambassadors, a virtual travel digital game, a student journal, and hands-on activities. myWorld Geography also expands students' social studies skills beyond mapping and graphing by integrating 21st century learning, like innovation, collaboration, information, and media and technology skills, into the print and digital components.

Pearson has committed to donate a portion of the sale proceeds of the myWorld program to organizations that help people who live and work in regions of the myWorld ambassadors. Through the myWorld Gives Back program, Pearson also will sponsor myWorld 5K run/walks at conferences throughout the United States; funds collected from these events will be donated to local and international charitable organizations.

For more information, visit myWorld Geography Facebook page, or YouTube.