29 June, 2013

To World Environment Day

Today’s session of the Gabfest Speaking Club (at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk) started with the arrival of half a dozen of new comers. Among them the most important was our new American Club-member - Mr. Andrew Bader.
The session started with the report about the Photo Exhibition by I. Dudkin “Unexpected America”. The Organizing committee informed the Club members about the Opening Ceremony and the results of the Photo Contest. It was suggested to show to the Club members all the submitted photos and publicly vote for the best photos.  
The public vote has selected as the best photos – several views of the New York skyline, the Salmon roe collector at work and the American-Ukrainian Lyceum Last Bell ceremony. The club members who did not see the exhibition visited the next door hall and discussed the photos with the American guest.

The official topic of the session was World Environment Day.  The theme for this year’s is Think. Eat. Save.  
Think. Eat. Save is an anti-food waste and food loss campaign that encourages you to reduce your foodprint. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization
(FAO), every year 1.3 billion tones of food is wasted. This is equivalent to the same amount produced in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, 1 in every 7 people in the world go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 die daily from hunger.  Given this enormous imbalance in lifestyles and the resultant devastating effects on the environment, this year’s theme – Think.Eat.Save – encourages you to become more aware of the environmental impact of the food choices you make and empowers you to make informed decisions. 
We have watched several videos illustrating the 2013 theme and discussed them. The Ukrainian ways of food conservation were explained to our American guest. He had some genuine surprises and looks forward to try the Ukrainian gastronomic surprises in Dnipropetrovsk.
The session was educational and funny.
The number of participants – 16 persons.

Have a look at more pictures, please

26 June, 2013

Twin Towers

“Wednesday Movie Club” at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.
The film Twin Towers  (2003) was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.

Plot: Two brothers, one a firefighter, one a police officer, are remembered for their bravery in New York City on September 11.
Directors: Bill Guttentag, Robert David Port
Stars: Tommy Buda

Unexpected America / Несподівана Америка

A Ukrainian photographer Ivan DUDKIN has opened his exhibition “Unexpected America” at the Dnipropetrovsk Window on America Centre.
Mr. I.Dudkin is a member of the Ukrainian Union of Journalists and the Ukrainian Union of the Photo Artists.   The exhibition presented the best works made by the author during his eight trips to the USA.
The opening of the exhibition took place in the big hall of the Foreign Literature department of the DOUNB Library (Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Universal Scientific Library). It was attended by the big group of the active library patrons, students of the nearby Universities, staff of the Historical Museum and DOUNB Library.
 A few weeks prior to the opening of the I. Dudkin’s Exhibition the WOA Centre conducted a Photo Contest  “American-Ukrainian Connections”. Mr. Dudkin was appointed the Contest’s Jury Head. In Dnipropetrovsk he had a difficult task to select the best photos and the winner of the contest as over 20 persons participated in the Contest with several dozens of decent quality photos. The Contest’s Jury had to introduce several nominations to encourage the participants.
The winner of the Contest became Ms. Ganna Maxyuta with her series “Alaska through the eyes of the Ukrainian”. Ms. Ganna has visited Alaska twice as a participant of the “Work @ Travel” student exchange program. We have congratulated the Winner over the Skype connection. She was very pleased with her prize – the Canon camera.
The other Contest’s finalists received their certificates from the Jury Head Mr. I.Dudkin.
Ms. Ludmilla Kovtoniuk was awarded with the Certificate in the nomination “Reporter’s photos” for the series “ Americans in Dnipropetrovsk “ . It was no wonder that Ms. Ludmilla became the finalist of the contest. She is an experienced photographer and an active participant of the library events. She made several interesting photos at the DOUNB  Clubs’  functions. Ms. Olena Prytykina was awarded with a Certificate in the nomination “The Originality of the Plot” for her photos made in the USA.

After the Award Ceremony Mr. Dudkin told the audience about his trips to the USA .The stories about the photos on display were enjoyed by the audience and triggered a lot of questions to the author.  After careful observations of the exhibition photos many visitors left feedback in the guest book.
After the Exhibition Opening Mr. Dudkin invited the target group of visitors to a master class which took place on the comfortable “Window on America” premises. The amateur -photographers asked a lot of questions about the shooting techniques, photo colors and shots’ processing. (Number of participants  17 persons)
Among the visitors of the Exhibition’s Opening was Mr. Mykola Chaban, the journalist at the Dnipropetrovsk oblast newspaper “Zoria”. We hope to read an article about the Exhibition soon!
A good bottom line for the day was the demonstration of the documentary movie about New York city which was seen on many photos of Mr. Dudkin and   the Contest participants.
The group photo with a remarkable photographer and traveler Mr. Ivan Dudkin will be a good memento of the event for the WOA Centre Patrons.
Number of participants  57 persons.

Have a look at more pictures, please

THE PHOTO CONTEST “Ukrainian-American Connections”

THE FINALISTS OF THE PHOTO CONTEST “Ukrainian-American Connections”

The WINNER - Ganna Maxyuta

- the series  “Alaska through the eyes of the Ukrainian”


-        The American City Landscape

Ms.Dasha Herasymova

Ms.Dariia Kliuieva

-        The original plot and collages

Ms. Olena Prytykina

-         The reporter’s series “Americans in Dnipropetrovsk”

Ms.  Lyudmila Kovtonyuk

Ms.  Valeriya Beliavska

22 June, 2013

“OKLAHOMA!” musical

Today’s session of the Gabfest speaking club (at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) was dedicated to the introduction of the “OKLAHOMA!” musical to the Gabfest Club members. This year this world famous Broadway play celebrates its 70th anniversary.
The Club members read and translated the Wikipedia article about the musical. The original Broadway production opened on March 31, 1943. It was a box-office smash and ran for an unprecedented 2,243 performances. Later it enjoyed several award-winning revivals, national tours, foreign productions and an Academy Award-winning 1955 film adaptation.
 “Oklahoma!” was the first fully integrated musical play, using every song and dance to develop the characters or the plot.

We have watched several You Tube videos:
-    about the celebration of the anniversary in the USA and Australia
-    with the most popular songs from the 1955 movie .
The listening of the songs left the majority of the group unaware of the songs’ content. The lyrics of 3 songs were offered for translation. This activity allowed the language learners to improve their auditing and translation skills.
The other topics on the agenda of the Club were:
-     selecting of topics on American-Ukrainian culture exchange, of candidates among the American industry experts and professionals to arrange Skype conversations with (through the US Embassy in Kyiv)
-    preparation for the USA Independence Day  celebration.
The session was educational to all the participants as they were not aware about this cult American musical “Oklahoma!” before.
The number of participants – 17 persons.

Have a look at more pictures, please

19 June, 2013

The Empire Strikes Back

“Wednesday Movie Club”
At the Window on America center in Dnipropetrovsk the film Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
Plot: As Luke trains with Master Yoda to become a Jedi Knight, his friends evade the Imperial fleet under the command of Darth Vader who is obsessed with turning Skywalker to the Dark Side of the Force.
Director: Irvin Kershner
Writers: Leigh Brackett (screenplay), Lawrence Kasdan (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

Find your tourist destination

Book and Image display: Find your tourist destination in the USA.
The book and image display reminds the patrons about the USA travel guides available at the Center. Summer is a great time to travel and USA provides numerous destinations for travelers. The images on display are provided by the patrons who traveled to the USA and decided to share their photo impressions with others.
Come and choose your favorite destination! Your dream trip will come true some time!


18 June, 2013

Librarians at the WOA Dnipro

The Dnipropetrovsk WOA Center was a place for library staff training.
The WOA Head Svitlana Usenko introduced to the group of librarians – the software and on-line resources for the English language study recommended by the US State department. The donated gadgets iPad and Kindle were presented to the audience.
The librarians were invited to join the WOA’s popular Clubs:
-    The Movie Club
-    The English-speaking Club GABFEST.
The Movie Club allows the participants to check their English auditing and comprehension skills. Regular visits of foreign guests to the Gabfest Club allow to improve one’s English speaking skills.
Number of visitors – 19 persons.

15 June, 2013

Cultural Program – Bloomsday

Today’s session of the English speaking Club was dedicated to the Irish-Heritage date – the Bloomsday marked on June, 16 by many Irish communities worldwide.
The world known Irish author James Joyce was introduced to the club members. Some of the club members with philological degrees even read some of his books and named the title of his most famous book  ”ULISSES”.
The slide show about the biography of the writer and the video about the Bloomsday events in Dublin familiarized the club members with the basics. The books by J. Joyce available at the library were presented to the group.
The Blooms day – June 16th – is an annual celebration among Joyce fans throughout the world, from Fort Lauderdale to Melbourne. It is celebrated in at least sixty countries worldwide, but nowhere so imaginatively, of course, as in Dublin. There the events of Leopold Bloom's day are reenacted by anyone who cares to participate, and his itinerary is followed all across Dublin.
Blooms day was a good opportunity to introduce other Irish products known worldwide. The Irish coffee recipes were presented to the club members. The videos about Guinness beer, Sheridan’s and Bayle’s Irish Cream liquors were offered and triggered the exchanged of positive experiences.
Irish Heritage month is celebrated in the USA in March each year.


Today’s session of the Gabfest speaking Club (at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) was dedicated to the complicated topic – the art of sculpture. It was decided to introduced to the club members the works of a Ukrainian born sculptor Aleksandr Archipenko.
The slide show of his world known works started the topic. We have explored the web site of the Archipenko Foundation in the USA and translated some of his quotes.
After studying in Kiev, in 1908 Archipenko briefly attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, but he quickly abandoned formal studies to become part of more radical circles, especially the Cubist movement. He began to explore the interplay between interlocking voids and solids and between convex and concave surfaces, forming a sculptural equivalent to Cubist paintings’ overlapping planes and, in the process, revolutionizing modern sculpture. As he developed his style, Archipenko achieved an incredible sense of vitality out of minimal means: in works such as Boxing Match (1913), he conveyed the raw, brutal energy of the sport in nonrepresentational, machinelike cubic and ovoid forms. About 1912, inspired by the Cubist collages by other artists Archipenko introduced the concept of collage in sculpture in his famous Medrano series, depictions of circus figures in multicolored glass, wood, and metal that defy traditional use of materials and definitions of sculpture.  During that same period he further defied tradition in his “sculpto-paintings,” works in which he introduced painted color to the intersecting planes of his sculpture. He worked as an art teacher for the rest of his life in New York City.
The second part of the session was dedicated to the introduction ritual of the newcomers. Among them were 2 girls who told about their participation in the FLEX exchange program for high school students. We hope for the fruitful cooperation with these girls with wonderful American English.

Participants - 18 persons.

14 June, 2013

Summer with WOA - iPad Games

The Head of WOA Dnipropetrovsk Svitlana Usenko was invited to visit the summer camp at the local secondary school # 39.  S. Usenko organized several gaming hours for three groups of children. Each session was started with the introduction of the DOUNB Library and the Window on America Center with their resources for the English language study.
The donated by the US Embassy in Kyiv iPADs were presented to the children with the basic gadgets’ using rules. The first game that was introduced was FUTUBA which helps to enrich English vocabulary. A set of Futuba game was followed by other games incorporated into the iPads.
The kids had no difficulty in using the iPads. The question about the cost of the gadget was very frequent during the sessions. Those gamers who can’t afford the device were invited to visit the DOUNB Library together with their parents and find the ways to study English for free and in a fun way. The time spent at the school # 39 by the WOA representative brought some fun and knowledge to the kids attending at the summer camp.
Number of participants – 60 (aged 8-11).

12 June, 2013

The Beach

“Wednesday Movie Club”.
At the Window on America center in Dnipropetrovsk  The Beach (2000) – 121 min. was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
Plot: Twenty-something Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss - excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.
Director: Danny Boyle
Writers: John Hodge (screenplay), Alex Garland (novel)
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel York, Patcharawan Patarakijjanon

08 June, 2013

The guests from the Arkansas

Today’s session at the GABFEST speaking club (at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) was an extraordinary one. We had a big group of guests from the Arkansas. The group of community activists arrived to our city in order to continue several projects based on the Bible study. The three gentlemen and two ladies introduced themselves to the Club and informed us about their respective projects:
-    A basketball school  for young people based in  one of the local private universities
-    An English language seminar
-    A seminar on successful marriage relationship.
The club members gave the guest many tips on how to spend their time in the city in an enjoyable way- which touristic attractions to visit in the area and what kind of food to try in local restaurants. Those who have been to our city before listened to the local news in all the spheres of life – from UNESCO Heritage aspirations of the local folk painting art to the opening of the new high tech metallurgical plant.
Our friend Mr. David, a dog shelter projects activist, was also present at the session. He shared the information about the progress of his project and the difficulties that they face. The club members with technical degrees tried to help with translation of the specifications on the equipment needed for the water supply.
The newcomers of the club and the regular members thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to communicate with such a big group of American guests.
Number of participants – 20.

05 June, 2013

A New Hope (Stars War)

“Wednesday Movie Club”.
At the Window on America center in Dnipropetrovsk  A New Hope (Stars War)  was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.

Plot: Luke Skywalker, a spirited farm boy, joins rebel forces to save Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader, and the galaxy from the Empire's planet-destroying Death Star.
Director: George Lucas
Writer: George Lucas
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

01 June, 2013

Anniversary of the LEVI’s jeans

Today’s session of the GABFEST Club (Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) started unexpectedly – with the arrival of a surprise guest from Germany.  Kristin is a volunteer at the local Lutheran church; she teaches German to children and arranges German-speaking events for them. Our German guest is very fluent in English, so we spent the first part of the session talking to her.
In spite of the young age Kristine has travelled the world extensively with her family and for English studies. She shared with us her experiences in the UK, USA and Malta. She visited these countries as a high school student through different exchange programs. Her stories revealed some stunning facts about how the exchange programs work. The Club members recommended unusual places to visit and food to try in Dnipropetrovsk and the area. Our guest is a charismatic person and we would like to meet her once again before her service term expires.
The official topic of the session was “Anniversary of the LEVI’s jeans. This year on May, 20 the iconic brand of America marks its 140th anniversary. We have watched several videos from the Levi’s You Tube channel – about the biography of the founder Levi Strauss, the history of the brand, about the service of made-to-order jeans, etc. We have read and translated the article explaining basic jeans terms. The highlight of the session was a mini jeans parade performed by the Club members in jeans.
The session allowed both newcomers and regular members to practice several language skills.
Number of participants 15  persons.