31 October, 2015

Halloween party

"American TEEN club" hold the Halloween party at the "Window on America" center (Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine).
The session was prepared and moderated by the FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange) program graduate Sasha, who is a new WOA’s friend and volunteer.
 

During the session the group was involved into educational activities: watching videos, answering questions of the moderator, playing fun games.
Number of participants – 11 persons.

Have a look at more pictures, please

HALLOWEEN at Gabfest

This Saturday the Gabfest club ("Window on America" (Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine) was visited by a private English-speaking Club from Novomoskovsk (a town 40 km away from Dnipropetrovsk). The visit of the teenage group was a pleasant surprise as the girls arrived dressed in Halloween costumes, with appropriated make-up and with carved pumpkin “jack-o-lanterns”.
Both clubs were lucky to have our two American volunteers – Mr. Jason and Mr. Kelly. Their presence motivated the club members to demonstrate the best of their English skills. The Novomoskovsk teenagers introduced themselves to the Gabfest club and demonstrated their costumes. The task for the Gabfest club members was to guess what was the name of each girl’s costume. The teenagers also recited rhymes and poems about Halloween and sang a Halloween song.
The second part of the session was dedicated to the introduction of the Halloween vocabulary to the older generation and watching of a Discovery Channel video about the history of the Halloween celebrations. It introduced some popular games (apple bobbing) and pranks (gate stealing, etc).
 

Wrapping up the session we allowed the club members from Novomoskovsk to put questions to our volunteers and to present the major attractions of their own town to them.
After the session the Gabfest Club activists had a Halloween tea party with assortment of local treats: chocolates, cookies and a pumpkin pie home-made by the Club member Valentina. All the participants liked the warm atmosphere of the tea party.
The session had many funny moments and was quite challenging for the Club members as it required knowledge of cultural trivia.
Number of participants – 38 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please

28 October, 2015

Panic Room


Wednesday Movie Club at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.
 

The film Panic Room (2002) was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
Panic Room is a 2002 American thriller film directed by David Fincher and written by David Koepp. The film stars Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart as a mother and daughter whose new home is invaded by burglars, played by Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, and Dwight Yoakam.

Koepp's screenplay was inspired by news coverage in 2000 about panic rooms. The film was Fincher's fifth feature film, following Fight Club (1999). Fincher and Koepp brought together a crew of people with whom each had worked before. The house and its panic room were built on a Raleigh Studios lot. Nicole Kidman was originally cast as the mother, but she left after aggravating a previous injury. Her departure threatened the completion of the film, but Foster quickly replaced Kidman. The filmmakers used computer-generated imagery to create the illusion of the film camera moving through the house's rooms. Foster became pregnant during the shooting schedule, so filming was suspended until after she gave birth.
The film was commercially released in the United States and Canada on March 29, 2002. The film cost $48 million and it grossed $30 million on its opening weekend. In the United States and Canada, it grossed $96.4 million. In other territories, it grossed $100 million for a worldwide total of $196.4 million, making it a commercial success. Critics were generally positive or mixed in their reviews. In retrospect, Panic Room has been assessed for its portrayal of childhood and feminism, the elements of video surveillance and diabetes, and its thematic approach to mortality.

WOA’s patrons enjoyed the film and the discussion that followed.
Have a look at more pictures, please


27 October, 2015

Holidays with WOA

On October, 26-27th – 



Window on America center in Dnipropetrovsk was visited by a two groups of primary school students from school 141.
The Library staff told them about the resources available for them and the procedure for enrolling into the library.
The students study two foreign languages, one of them is English. The WOA staff member checked what American autumn holidays the children know about. It turned out they are well aware of the Halloween and Thanksgiving. The new topic for them was celebration of Columbus Day. Some kids even knew who Columbus was.
The groups were shown a number of animated cartoons including excerpt from the movie “Bamby”. While watching the movie the kids had to make a list of animals they saw and give their equivalents in English.
The session was educational for the kids and promoted library services to the primary school students.
Number of participants – 47 persons.




 

24 October, 2015

Autumn-Fall at the Library

Today’s session of the Gabfest Club ("Window on America", Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine) was planned as a free topic session. No one suggested any specific topic, so we decided to talk about “Autumn”. This beautiful season inspired many poets and musicians. That’s why we decided to tell our American volunteer about things that are associated with ‘autumn” in our culture.
The easiest solution was to introduce Mr. Jason to a popular song about autumn and to translate the lyrics. The song loved by all club members is “What kind of thing is “autumn”, “by popular in Ukraine rock singer Yuriy Shevchuk. We have offered Jason to listen to the popular tune illustrated by a beautiful autumn slide show. The activity offered to the group was to translate the lyrics into English paying attention to the translation and explanation of metaphors, poetic symbols, associations.
 

In the second part of the session we touched upon different things – travelling to the neighboring countries and sharing useful tips, news from our Australian volunteers, Halloween preparations.
The new comers were impressed with the positive atmosphere of the Gabfest Club.
The session had many funny moments and was quite challenging for the Club members.
Number of participants – 25 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please


22 October, 2015

Celebrating Arthur Miller at 100 - 2

"On the Art of Drama in English" "Window on America" (Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine) information and resource was visited by a group of 9th year students from the local highs school No. 23. WOA center has a long-time partnership project with this school.
The visit was dedicated to the 100th anniversary of ArthurMiller (1915-2005) - a famous American playwright, screenwriter and novelist. WOA’s HEAD Svetlana Usenko prepared for the students a slide show which presented the most interesting facts from the biography of the playwright who was a prominent figure in the realm of American theater. The group also watched video excerpts from the play "DeathOfASalesman," which has brought worldwide fame to A. Miller.
 

The play "Death of a Salesman" (1949, director Elia Kazan) was staged 742 times. Miller received the Pulitzer Prize (1949) for this play and later – a bunch of other less prestigious awards. Other popular Miller’s plays: "After the Fall," "Incident at Vichy ", The Creation of the World and Other Business." He also wrote an autobiographical book “Timebends: A Life”.
"Death of a Salesman" was re-made on Broadway 4 times by different directors with different casts. It was staged in many countries, including the USSR and China. At least 7 times it was filmed in different countries. The play put forward very important human problems: intertwining of personal and economic problems; craving for wealth, craving for love and respect and their conflict. The play was well taken by the public and impressed many people in the theater world. However, Arthur Miller is known for his social life as well. For four years (1956-1961) he was married to Marilyn Monroe. Arthur Miller's novella "The Misfits" was filmed in 1961 – the last movie where Marilyn Monroe starred. It was writer’s farewell gift to his beloved woman and the only dramatic role of M. Monroe.
"I tried to help her cope with the problems ... Unfortunately, I have failed to do that" – wrote Miller.
Number of participants – 11 (10 – pupils, 1 – teacher) persons.

Have a look at more pictures, please

21 October, 2015

Hoffa

“Wednesday Movie Club” at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.
The film «Hoffa» was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
Hoffa is a 1992 French-American biographical film directed by Danny DeVito and written by David Mamet, based on the life of Teamsters Union leader Jimmy Hoffa. Most of the story is told in flashbacks before ending with a version of Hoffa's mysterious disappearance. Jack Nicholson plays Hoffa, and DeVito plays Hoffa's fictional longtime friend Robert "Bobby" Ciaro, an amalgamation of several Hoffa associates over the years.
The film also stars John C. Reilly, Robert Prosky, Kevin Anderson, Armand Assante, and J. T. Walsh. The original music score is by David Newman.
WOA’s patrons enjoyed the film and the discussion that followed.



19 October, 2015

PR campaigns in the US Hospitality Industry

The Window on America center in Dnipropetrovsk continues to implement the library project “Cross Cultural Encounters for Ukrainian University students”.
The aim of the project is to introduce the WOA and its resources to the students majoring in “Hospitality Management”.
This week the 4th year students of the Kyiv University for Arts and Culture (Dnipropetrovsk branch) have been invited to the WOA center once again.
The group of students listened to the lecture “PR campaigns in the US Hospitality Industry”. The lecture was delivered by the center’s staff member T. Gavryluk.
 

The information was illustrated with numerous videos about the successful PR campaigns organized by the White House (vegetable garden, Easter reading, Easter egg roll, etc.). The examples from the hospitality industry were also presented and included prize winning PR campaigns for a tourist destination (Canadian Yukon) and a hotel chain (Hilton).
The insight into the PR campaign producing was provided through the video about fashion shows of a world famous US designer Donna Karan (DKNY).
The materials provided in the lecture allowed the students to compare cases of PR campaigns in other countries (Ukraine, France).
The lecture at the WOA center was a valuable addition to the theoretical course in Public Relations.
Number of the visitors – 15.
Have a look at more pictures, please

Celebrating Arthur Miller at 100

"On the Art of Drama in English" at "Window on America" (#Dnipropetrovsk #Ukraine) information and resource was visited by a group of 10th year students from the local highs school No.141. WOA center has a long-time partnership project with this school.
The visit was dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Arthur Miller (1915-2005) - a famous American playwright, screenwriter and novelist. WOA’s HEAD Svetlana Usenko prepared for the students a slide show which presented the most interesting facts from the biography of the playwright who was a prominent figure in the realm of American theater. The group also watched video excerpts from the play "Death of a Salesman", which has brought worldwide fame to A. Miller.
 

The play "Death of a Salesman" (1949, director Elia Kazan) was staged 742 times. Miller received the Pulitzer Prize (1949) for this play and later – a bunch of other less prestigious awards. Other popular Miller’s plays: "After the Fall," "Incident at Vichy ", The Creation of the World and Other Business." He also wrote an autobiographical book "Timebends: A Life”.
"Death of a Salesman" was re-made on Broadway 4 times by different directors with different casts. It was staged in many countries, including the USSR and China. At least 7 times it was filmed in different countries. The play put forward very important human problems: intertwining of personal and economic problems; craving for wealth, craving for love and respect and their conflict. The play was well taken by the public and impressed many people in the theater world. However, Arthur Miller is known for his social life as well. For four years (1956-1961) he was married to Marilyn Monroe. 


Arthur Miller's novella "The Misfits" was filmed in 1961 - the last movie where Marilyn Monroe starred. It was writer’s farewell gift to his beloved woman and the only dramatic role of M. Monroe.
"I tried to help her cope with the problems ... Unfortunately, I have failed to do that" – wrote Miller.
Number of participants – 32 (30 – pupils, 2- teachers) persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please

17 October, 2015

Columbus Day Celebration in the USA

Today’s session of the Gabfest Club (Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) was dedicated to the topic “Columbus Day Celebration in the USA”.
The group was offered a video about the controversial impact the Christopher Columbus’s voyages had on the indigenous people of the New World and the population of the European countries. However, this holiday continues to be an important way for all Americans to learn more about the Age of Exploration and the enormous transformations it provoked.
The Ukrainian members of the Club were asked to provide examples from the Ukrainian history when the same person is a hero for one social group and a villain for another social group. The most obvious example was the Stalin’s Cult of Personality.
The Gabfest’s Australian volunteer Mr. Eric told the basic things about the discovery of Australia and compared the stories of James Cook and Christopher Columbus.
The second part of the session was a sort of farewell conversation with Mr. Eric. The Club members enjoyed his demonstration of curious Australian artifacts – cricket bat and ball, merino sheep wool samples, Australian currency and mint. Each artifact was illustrated with a detailed explanation. The Club members gave a round of applause to our Australian friend for his friendship and efforts to improve the English language skills of Gabfest club members.
Number of participants – 35 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please

Games and learning

The "Window on America" center (Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine) resumed sessions of the "American TEEN club" where students can improve their English skills, learn more about the United States and have a nice time with friends. The session was prepared and moderated by the FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange) program graduate Anna Akastyelova who is a long time WOA’s friend and volunteer.
During the session the group was involved into educational activities: reading, translation, answering questions of the moderator. 

The second part of the club’s session was devoted to educational and linguistic desktop card game "Apples to Apples". Players had to learn how to make English phrases using "red apple" cards (which generally feature a noun) and matching "green apple" cards (which contain an adjective) Every player had to choose a strategy to win. The game was both funny and educational for English learners.
Number of participants – 6 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please

 

12 October, 2015

Celebration of the Columbus Day in the USA

The "Window on America" Center (Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine) staff was invited to visit local high school No. 22 and present a letter on US traditions and holidays. Due to the date of the school visit it was natural to select the topic “Celebration of the Columbus Day in the USA”.
The presentation was offered to three groups of students the 6th, the 9th and the 10th graders. All groups were offered the slideshows with fun facts about the Columbus trips to the New World. The senior students already new many facts about Columbus, but they appreciated the new vocabulary that was introduced during the presentations. The focus in the presentations for senior students was on the impact the Columbus’s trips had on the European countries and the population of America.
 

The junior students were excited with less complicated presentations that involved cartoon materials and were illustrated with songs about Columbus in English. The students had to demonstrate their auditing skills as the songs were offered without sub-titles or lyrics.
Both groups were interested in the video-illustration of the topic- a video about the Columbus Day parade in New York in 2013. The students were informed about the Italian community active participation in the parade. In year 2013 the highlight was a show of Italian cars in the streets of New York. The tricky task for the groups was to enumerate the logos of the car brands shown in the illustrative video.
The teachers were grateful to the WOA staff for a lecture that increased the students’ knowledge of American traditions.
Number of participants – 85 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please

10 October, 2015

Ukraine’s protectors’ Day



This Saturday the Gabfest Club (Window on America center, Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine) was very lucky – we had 3 guests from the USA and 1 guest from Australia. The newcomers to the Club were very much impressed.

The session started with presenting a gratitude gift to our departing volunteer from Australia - Mr. Eric Kneller. The Club-members want Eric to have sweet memories about his time at Gabfest, so they presented him a pack of chocolates and cookies made in Dnipropetrovsk. Eric was very pleased and touched with this gift.

To break the ice we started to introduce the guests into the realm of Ukrainian public holidays. The coming Ukraine’s protectors’ Day (October, 14) became a very challenging topic both for Ukrainian anв foreign Club members. Very few managed to explain why the date of the holiday was changed. But more complicated was the religious and historical background of the holiday. The Slavic word Pokrov, has a complex meaning. First of all, it refers to a cloak or shroud, but it also means protection or intercession. For this reason, the name of the feast is often translated as Feast of the Intercession. The subject of Ukrainian Cossacks and their martial arts had to be introduced and was very interesting for the 12 y.o. William from Alabama.

The official topic of the session was “World Teachers’ Day”. We examined the official website of the day, learned the theme for the year 2015. The group was offered a list of questions about teaching and teachers. The foreign guests also asked questions about the traditions at local schools and problems that Ukrainian teachers face.

The session introduced complicated topics, but all participants enjoyed the challenges to their minds.