30 April, 2015

International Workers' Day - May, 1

On the eve of the May Day weekend the WOA’s Gabfest Club (Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine) introduced the topic of Labor Day celebrations in Ukraine and USA.
Unlike the European tradition the American Labor day is celebrated in September. But it turned out that the origin of the International Workers' Day (May, 1)   is connected to the tragic events in the USA.
In the late 19th century, the Socialists and Communists have chosen May Day (May, 1) as the date for International Workers' Day to commemorate the Haymarket affair in Chicago in 1886.

The group was introduced to the background of the Haymarket riot in Chicago. It began as a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour day and in reaction to the killing of several workers the previous day by the police. An unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at police as they acted to disperse the public meeting. The bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; scores of others were wounded. Eight anarchists were convicted of conspiracy some of them were hanged. The topic was illustrated with a documentary about the events in Chicago.
In the second part of the session club members shared their plans for the May Day long weekend.
The most challenging task was to describe the difference between an American BBQ picnic and Ukrainian shashlik picnic.
Number of participants – 9.
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Free Resources Presentation

WOA’s Head Svitlana Usenko visited local high school No 63 where she presented to the students the free resources for the English language study.

The activities most popular  among library patrons were presented to the group -  the theme book displays, weekly Movie club and weekly English-speaking clubs for different age groups (for teens and adults).
Svitlana Usenko discussed with the ESL teachers  important issues: possible ways of  future cooperation and interesting presentations topics for the students.

The school students received the WOA’s promotional materials.

Number of participants – 28.

29 April, 2015

Labor Day

“Wednesday Movie Club” at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine offered screening of the drama film ‘Labor Day’ to all who wish to improve their language skills.
Labor Day is a American drama film based on the 2009 novel of the same name by Joyce Maynard with staring Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith

Plot: Depressed single mom Adele and her son Henry offer a wounded, fearsome man a ride. As police search town for the escaped convict, the mother and son gradually learn his true story as their options become increasingly limited.
Director: Jason Reitman
Writers: Jason Reitman (screenplay), Joyce Maynard (based on the novel by)
Number of participants – 8.

28 April, 2015

Discoiver USA. Washington D.C.

The WOA Center Dnipropetrovsk was visited by the 8th grade students from the local high school number 23. The school is a longtime partner of the WOA Center and the DOUNB library.
The Center’s free resources for learning English were presented to the group. They have inspected the book and image display "American music and musicians" and a paper display «Music Scene and Heard». The highlight of the book display is an exposition of the new arrivals that were acquired within the framework of the project “U.S. ART Residence in Dnipropetrovsk”.
Within the framework of the “Discover USA” project the group listened to the English language presentation and learned a lot of interesting facts about the capital of the USA – the city of Washington named after first US President George Washington.

WOA’s staff member Tamara Gavryliuk commented slide-show, drew the students’ attention to the new vocabulary used in the presentation. Students read and translated the text on the slides. The presentation covered numerous aspects - the history of the capital, the geography of the area, the beautiful architecture of the city, the capital’s heart - National Mall, wonderful memorials in honor of the US presidents, Library of Congress’s and the White House’s interiors. At the end of the meeting, the students watched a funny video about the Easter celebration on the lawn near the White House, learned about the popular Easter games "Egg Hunt" and "Egg Roll". The children were attentive and actively answered questions on the content of the presentation, showed a high level of proficiency in English.
Number of participants – 13 people.
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25 April, 2015

Arbor Day

Today’s session of the WOA’s Gabfest club started with a surprise visit of Mr. David – the volunteer from the Poltava WOA. Mr. David told the group about his Canadian and British roots. He was asked numerous questions about his impressions from life in Ukraine.

The official topic of the session was “Landscape Architecture”. Within the framework of the “U.S. Art Residence” we tried to talk about the beauty of man-made parks (to introduce the Arbor Day celebration in the USA). Landscape architecture is a multi-disciplinary field, incorporating aspects of botany, horticulture, the fine arts and architecture and numerous other sciences (industrial design, geology, the earth sciences, environmental psychology, geography, ecology). The combination of the traditional landscape gardening and the emerging city planning combined together gave landscape architecture its unique focus. Frederick Law Olmsted used the term 'landscape architecture' using the word as a profession for the first time when designing the Central Park on Manhattan in New York City. The quality of Olmsted's landscape architecture was recognized by his contemporaries, who showered him with prestigious commissions. His work, especially in Central Park in New York City, set a standard of excellence that continues to influence landscape architecture in the United States. His second line of achievement involves his activism in conservation, including work at Niagara Falls, the Adirondack region of upstate New York, and the National Park system.
The group watched the documentary about the Olmsted's Park system in Buffalo city around Niagara Falls. The new vocabulary enabled the club members to start a conversation about the best parks of Dnipropetrovsk city and their attraction (numerous scenic spots and magnificent waterscapes). 

Now the group is ready for David’s second visit and a tour of the local breathtaking landscapes.
Number of participants – 23 persons.
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Shakespeare in Love and Theater

The meeting of American Teen Club was dedicated to the topic «Theater» (Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine) for teenagers, who are willing to improve their English language, get to know about the United States and have a good time!
The meeting was lead by the FLEX alumni Hanna Akastjolova.
Participants watched a romance film Shakespeare in Love (1998) and discussed it. This movie is about a young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays.
Everyone was engaged and practiced their speaking skills!
Number of participants – 10 persons.
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22 April, 2015


Tonight the Wednesday Movie Club offered the big-screening of the romantic comedy film “Bedazzled” (2000, USA). A hapless loser sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for seven wishes, but has trouble winning over the girl of his dreams. 
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Elizabeth Hurley, Frances O’Connor. Director: Harold Ramis
After watching the club members shared their impressions about the movie.
Number of participants – 10.

21 April, 2015

Windows go biking - 1

Ira Drach, the Head of  Ternopil Windows on America for the future leaders center, about Bicycle flash mob «Windows go biking»:
On April 21-22, 2015 Ternopil Window on America center successfully launched Ukrainian bicycle flash mob «Windows go biking».
During two hours librarians and visitors promoted American corners activities and healthy lifestyle in Ternopil town. Window on America centers coordinators from other towns (Lutsk, Poltava and Dnipropetrovsk) joined this ride.
Bicycle race route ran through the town parks and the center. Approximate footage of our trip – 6 km. We started our ride from Ternopil regional library for youth, and ended it in the park by creating symbolical “web of friendship”. Along the way, participants were handing out flyers and talked with local residents about American corner activities.
Cycling flash was accompanied by cultural and educational events that combined Eastern, Western and Northern regions of Ukraine, enriched the knowledge of Ukrainian people about United States: English Speaking Club meetings (visitors together with coordinators created new ideas and projects for the future), mini-trainings, presentations, quizzes, and more.
In general near 70 people took part in this event. The next “Windows go biking” ride will be held in May in Lutsk town.


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18 April, 2015

Earth Day

Today’s the session of the Dnipropetrovsk Window on America center’s Gabfest Club was dedicated to the observance of the EARTH DAY. The Club members told about their activities that help to save the planet. The stories ranged from the use of electric public transportation to garbage separation and compost pits arrangement. Many participants felt short for specific words. Today’s session was a wonderful opportunity to introduce the group to the American English at State’s “Green Vocabulary”. It presented the club members with definitions of key words and provided contextual examples. Introduction of the green vocabulary enabled the group to better understand the illustrative videos – among them climate change and cheeseburger footprint videos. 

The second part of the session dealt with a “Success Story” of the long- time Club member – Mr. Nestor. Nestor worked as a fire- fighter in Dnipropetrovsk, but he had a dream to become a sea-man. We supported Nestor in his efforts to graduate from the marine college at the age of 44. Today Nestor attended the Gabfest Club session and surprised his fellow members with his fluent English.  Our friend completed his first contract as a navigational officer on a river-sea cargo ship and came to share his success with us. Nestor showed the group a slide show of his work at sea; he commented the photos and answered the questions of the group about the geography of his international sea travel, his routine work aboard, etc.
Participants number – 19 persons.
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Placebo Effect

The American Teen Club meeting was dedicated to the topic «Placebo Effect @ American Teen Club» (Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine) for teenagers, who are willing to improve their English language, get to know about the United States and have a good time!
The meeting was lead by the FLEX alumni Hanna Akastjolova.
Participants took a few grammatical questions online, testing their knowledge. Everyone was happy to see positive results.
Everyone was engaged and practiced their speaking skills!
Number of participants – 8 persons.
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17 April, 2015

Washington D.C. and Easter Egg Roll

Discover USA project:
Today the WOA Center Dnipropetrovsk was visited by the group of the 7th grade students from the local high school No. 23 with teacher.
We decided to start the presentation of the WOA Center with a slide show about the city of Washington – the capital of the USA.  The WOA’s Head Svitlana who has been to Washington city shared her positive emotions about the trip to the USA.
 The students had to read and translate the text on the slides and comment the images on the slides. The focus of the presentation this time was on the architecture of the buildings and the interiors of the world-known sites – the White House, the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court building, etc.
The second half of the session was a presentation about the Easter celebration in the USA. The presentation introduced the children to the popular Easter games - Egg hunt and Egg Roll. The information was illustrated with the images and videos about Easter celebration at the White House.

The kids were asked to compare the traditional symbols of US and Ukrainian Easter. They compared the methods of Easter eggs decoration and Easter basket content in two countries. The new vocabulary that was introduced will help the students to talk about Easter in English.
The teacher and the students were impressed by the visit and will be happy to cooperate with the WOA Center in the future.
Participants number – 11 persons.
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16 April, 2015

October Sky. From mines to art heights - 9

Within the framework of the “From mines to art heights” project the "Window on America" Center (Dnipropetrovsk , Ukraine) was visited by the group of National Mining University students. The group was accompanied by the English language lecturer - Mr. Brian Chung, the Fulbright academic exchange lecturer from New York.
The WOA Center premises were used as a site for an out-of-class training session. The freshmen continued to watch and discuss an American movie
October Sky (1999), director: Joe Johnston).
It’s a true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son who was inspired by the first Sputnik launch to take up rocketry against his father's wishes.
The group watched and discussed an American film. Mr. Chung explained to the students the colloquial phrases and idioms that were difficult for the understanding of the ESL students.
Number of participants – 6.

15 April, 2015

The Devil Wears Prada

“Wednesday Movie Club” at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, offered screening of the comedy film “The Devil Wears Prada” (2006) with Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Adrian Grenier starring.
A smart but sensible new graduate lands a job as an assistant to Miranda Priestly, the demanding editor-in-chief of a high fashion magazine.

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Discover American ART

At Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine) exhibits a display «U.S. Art Residence in Dnipropetrovsk: New Book Arrival».
The new books acquired for the project «U.S. Art Residence in Dnipropetrovsk» are presented to the patrons.
The new arrivals include the following colorful editions:
-    albums about the paintings of American Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art ( New York) etc.
-    industrial design (Bridges of America)
-    biographies of American movie directors  and actors
-    books about the iconic American music stars  (Michael Jackson, Madonna, Lady Gaga ).
WOA’s Collection of the best Hollywood films was enlarged with 74 new titles.
Number of participants – 60.

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14 April, 2015

Easter celebration

Dnipropetrovsk high school №141 provides in-depth study of English, it’s a specialized school – one of the best in town. For many years it cooperates with DOUNB Library and "Window on America" Center. 
On the 3rd day of the Orthodox Easter the group of 6th year students and 3 teachers visited the WOA’ Center to learn more about Easter celebration in different countries of the world. The group was offered a slide show which presented Easter traditions in English and German speaking countries. The kids participated in several Easter craft activities and completed Easter words puzzles.
The visit was complemented with the tour of the library departments located in the WOA’s building.
Number of participants – 24.

11 April, 2015

English Speaking Club, Gabfest, World Health Day

Today’s session of the Gabfest Club in Window on America Dnipropetrovsk was dedicated to the observance of the WORLD HEALTH DAY (April 7). This year World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted the challenges and opportunities associated with food safety under the slogan “From farm to plate, make food safe.”
The group discussed the posters and videos prepared by the WHO about the safety of food and its crucial elements. Each Club member shared his own experience of food safety risks while eating out or at home. Club Member Dmitriy compared the requirements to food safety in Finland and in Ukraine.
The next video that was demonstrated to the group was prepared by the US organization and gave us an insight into the US home food safety rules. Many of the session’s participants will try to apply these rules at their Ukrainian homes. The final activity was Q@A regarding the food safety issues. The group appreciated the importance of the topic and will follow the advice of the US experts during the Orthodox Easter celebration.
Number of participants – 15 persons.

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10 April, 2015

Easter Art Therapy at School No.22

Dnipropetrovsk high school № 22 provides in-depth study of English; it’s a specialized school – one of the best in town. For many years it cooperates with DOUNB Library and "Window on America" Center.
On the Orthodox Easter Eve the WOA’s Head Svetlana Usenko was invited to take part in the festivities and to tell the students about American Easter traditions.7 lessons in which Svitlana participated flew like a flash.
Each lesson began with a story in English about Easter traditions presented by students. The most creative school students performed musical numbers. Most impressive were gospel type lyrical religious songs, the girls sang and played on the piano, flute and saxophone. One boy performed a violin number; another girl recited a funny Ukrainian Easter story.

The students’ show was followed by S. Usenko’s slide-show presentation and demonstration of relevant videos. The students learned about the annual celebration at the White House in Washington. A popular activity there was an Easter Egg Roll, which involved a large number of American children and their parents. President Barack Obama read a story to the children, played tennis and basketball with American athletes. The First Lady Michelle Obama demonstrated her dancing skills and encouraged the audience to lead healthy lifestyles.

Another Easter activity offered to the school children was egg decoration, they were encouraged to hand-paint the eggs. Cartoons about Bunny rabbit raised the students’ spirits - they sang and danced along.
The final Easter activity offered to the students was coloring Easter pictures. Many of the students left school with a lovely Easter gift for their parents.
Number of participants – 255 persons.