29 December, 2015

The Beach

At the Window on America center in Dnipropetrovsk The Beach (2000) was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills. The film is a part of the WOA’s collection of the best Hollywood movies.
The Beach is a 2000 adventure drama film directed by Danny Boyle and based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Alex Garland, which was adapted for the film by John Hodge. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Virginie Ledoyen, Guillaume Canet, Robert Carlyle, Tilda Swinton, and Paterson Joseph. It was filmed on the Thai island Koh Phi Phi.
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.
The club members enjoyed the adventures drama and the discussion with our foreign friends Paul and Manny that followed.
Number of participants – 8 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please

Christmas bells jingle - 6

"Window on America" information and resource center held the 6th meeting of cultural project "Christmas bells jingle". The head of "Window on America" Svetlana Usenko told about the Christmas season in USA and Ukraine to students of the school №40.
The WOA staff introduced the group to some less known symbols of American Xmas. The American flower symbol of Xmas was presented – the beautiful red poinsettia. The nativity scene as a Xmas tradition in the USA was presented and several images were discussed. Several popular Xmas songs were offered to the group and the teenagers happily sang along.
The group listened to the globally popular “Carol of the Bells” A.K.A "Shchedryk" by the Ukrainian composer Leontovich. The iconic song was offered in traditional and modern variations. The group was eager to sing along other Xmas hits – «Jingle bells», “Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer”, “Santa Clause Is coming to town” and others.
Young DOUNB Library friends enjoyed the music. For the teenagers US Christmas is a start of the bright and merry Winter Holiday season! They will remember new facts about the Christian culture, and will learn more about the culture of the friendly American people.
We hope that this presentation will be an extra motivation for the students to learn English.
Number of participants – 8 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please

27 December, 2015

Christmas bells jingle - 5

Christmas Fun for Teenagers – Christmas bells jingle - 5

"Window on America" Information and Resource Center (Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine) held the fifth cultural event in the project "Christmas bells jingle" for the "American Teen Club" members. The meeting was prepared and moderated by the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program graduates Akastyelova Anna and Olga Chichikalo. The event was attended by the WOA’s American volunteer Mr. Jason.

"Window on America" Center offers all its resources to make
the Club sessions interesting, effective and positive at the same time. To break the ice the teenagers played some motion games. The slide show “American traditions and symbols of Christmas” was reviewed with a lot of interest. Teen Club leaders Olga and Anna showed the members how to make DIY festive Christmas paper decorations. Can you imagine a New Year party in Ukraine without sweet treats and tangerines? Teen Club holiday table was no exception.

Teenagers left the library in a good mood and with new knowledge.





26 December, 2015

Christmas bells jingle - 4

Christmas Celebration
Today Gabfest Club ("Window on America", Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine) had a Catholic Christmas session. The session was attended by our foreign guests Mr. Jason and Mr. Paul. The club members were happy to have such a pleasant Xmas surprise, especially the newcomers. As Mr. Paul is recently new to our Club we started the session with the introduction ritual during which the new-comers introduced themselves to the group, the Club’s committee was introduced and the history behind the Club’s name was explained.
The Xmas topic selected for the discussion was “Xmas Attributes in the USA”. This topic allowed introducing symbolic elements of Xmas celebration that are not known in Ukraine, but are very popular in the USA. Thus we talked about such traditional things as advent calendars for children, nativity scenes (art pieces for indoors and life-size for outdoors), poinsettia flowers and wreaths, handmade gifts and Xmas menu. Our native-speaking guests made comments and provided explanations.
At the end of the session the group recited a poem about the Gabfest Club wrote by Svitlana G. – our colleague from the DOUNB Library. The session was wrapped up by a musical farewell – the Club’s activist Valentina, a professional music educator, played Xmas music on the piano. Mr. Jason also demonstrated his playing skills to the fellow club-members.
The Gabfest Club Committee has a long tradition of Xmas parties. The year 2015 was no exception. The fund-rising campaign allowed us to set a beautiful Xmas tea table with the assortment of sweet snacks and season fruit. The table was decorated with handcrafts provided by the WOA’s friends from partner schools.
The highlight of the party was a karaoke competition. The Club members introduced their favorite Xmas songs and urged the fellows to sing along. Mr. Paul introduced a Xmas song popular in the UK. It impressed the group to such extent that people started to twist to the great tune. Some tastes in music differed, but the pop music fans allowed our ex-president Vlad to introduce his favorite hard rock Xmas hit.

The atmosphere of the Gabfest Xmas party was so warm and forthcoming that people of all ages (from teen-agers to retired adults) mixed and mingled and enjoyed each other’s company.
The hilarious spirits will stay with the Gabfest Club members until the New Year and Orthodox Xmas!
Number of participants – 33 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please


25 December, 2015

Christmas bells jingle - 3

"Window on America" information and resource center held the 3rd meeting of its cultural project "Christmas bells jingle". The head of "Window on America" Svetlana Usenko visited students of the specialized school №22 for talking about the Christmas season in USA and Ukraine.
The WOA staff introduced the group to some less known symbols of American Xmas. The American flower symbol of Xmas was presented – the beautiful red poinsettia. The nativity scene as a Xmas tradition in the USA was presented and several images were discussed. Several popular Xmas songs were offered to the group and the teenagers happily sang along.
The group listened to the globally popular “Carol of the Bells” A.K.A "Shchedryk" by the Ukrainian composer Leontovich. The iconic song was offered in traditional and modern variations. The group was eager to sing along other Xmas hits – «Jingle bells», “Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer”, “Santa Clause Is coming to town” and others.
Young DOUNB Library friends enjoyed the music. For the teenagers US Christmas is a start of the bright and merry Winter Holiday season! They will remember new facts about the Christian culture, and will learn more about the culture of the friendly American people.
We hope that this presentation will be an extra motivation for the students to learn English.
Number of participants – 65 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please

23 December, 2015

Christmas eve. Mr. Popper’s Penguin

Movie Club’s friends number is getting bigger. Today more than 20 people visited the “Wednesday Movie Club” at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine to watch a film. Our foreign friends Paul, Manny, and Jason invited new members to our club. To create a festive mood for the members of the American movie Club we selected a comedy "Mr. Popper’s Penguins". The film is a part of the WOA’s collection of the best Hollywood movies.
Watching the comedy activated the visitors’ English vocabulary, improved their auditing skills as they listened to the original soundtrack of the movie with English subtitles. Now they will always recognize the voice of the US comedian actor Jim Carrey.
The club members enjoyed the adventures of a successful businessman Thom Popper, who inherited six penguins. But a funny thing, Mr. Popper did not mind the fact. On the contrary – he fell in love with these birds and neglected his work. Thom’s luxury apartments in the heart of New York became a huge fridge – a paradise for his pets from Antarctica. Mr. Popper’s love of exotic and adorable penguins helped him to improve the relationships with his own family and to open a new side of life.
WOA’s patrons enjoyed the film and the discussion that followed.
Number of participants – 21 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please

Christmas bells jingle - 2

"Window on America" information and resource center held the 2nd meeting of its cultural project "Christmas bells jingle". "Window on America" staff Svetlana Usenko and Tamara Gavryliuk decorated the premises for Christmas – in traditional color scheme and with hand-made gifts from partner school kids. A Christmas tree was put up with lovely decoration. The 8th year students of the specialized school №23 visited the facility at the start of the Christmas season in Ukraine. The meeting was attended by the WOA’s American volunteer Mr. Jason which was a pleasant surprise for the teachers and students. The group arrived with an assortment of Xmas cookies and had a nice Xmas tea ceremony with the WOA staff.
The WOA staff introduced the group to some less known symbols of American Xmas. The American flower symbol of Xmas was presented – the beautiful red poinsettia. The nativity scene as a Xmas tradition in the USA was presented and several images were discussed. Several popular Xmas songs were offered to the group and the teenagers happily sang along.
The presence of our American volunteer gave the students an opportunity to practice their speaking skills. They asked Mr. Jason numerous questions about his family Xmas traditions, his impressions of Ukraine and Dnipropetrovsk.
The group listened to the globally popular “Carol of the Bells” A.K.A "Shchedryk" by the Ukrainian composer Leontovich. The iconic song was offered in traditional and modern variations. The group was eager to sing along other Xmas hits – «Jingle bells», “Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer”, “Santa Clause Is coming to town” and others.
Young DOUNB Library friends enjoyed the music and the warm atmosphere of the Xmas tea party. They will take from the library back home the wonderful memories of meeting a real American. For the teenagers US Christmas is a start of the bright and merry Winter Holiday season! They will remember new facts about the Christian culture, and will learn more about the culture of the friendly American people.
We hope that this festive tea party with an American guest at the "Window on America" center will be an extra motivation for the students to learn English.
Number of participants – 21 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please


22 December, 2015

Christmas bells jingle - 1

«Window on America» Dnipropetrovsk information and resource center held the first meeting of its cultural project «Christmas bells jingle». The 4th year students of the specialized school №23 visited the facility at the start of the Christmas season in Ukraine.
The librarians told the group about the background of Xmas characters – the Ukrainian St. Nicholas and the American Santa Claus. The American flower symbol of Xmas was introduced – the beautiful poinsettia. Typical American festive meals, gifts and entertainment were also presented. "Window on America" staff Svetlana Usenko and Tamara Gavryliuk decorated the premises for Christmas – in red and green color scheme and with hand-made gifts from partner school kids. A Christmas tree was put up with lovely decoration. Students learned a Xmas set of new words, watched a few Xmas videos, and listened to globally popular “Carol of the Bells” A.K.A "Shchedryk" by the Ukrainian composer Leontovich. The iconic song was offered in traditional and modern variations. The group was eager to sing along another Xmas hit – «Jingle bells».
Young DOUNB Library friends enjoyed the music and the festive atmosphere. They will take from the library back home the wonderful memories and Xmas spirit. For the kids Christmas is a bright and merry holiday! They will remember new facts about the Christian world, and will learn more about the culture of the friendly American people.
We hope that this festive meeting at the "Window on America" center will be an extra motivation for the students to learn English and read the book!
Number of participants – 24 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please

19 December, 2015

International Tea day



Today’s session of the Gabfest Club (Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) was dedicated to the InternationalTea day (December, 15).
The task of the session was to compare the tea drinking habits in the USA and in Ukraine, to explain certain details of Russian tea tradition to our American volunteer Mr. Jason.
The group was introduced to an important event in the American history the Boston tea party. The story was illustrated with the History channel video and comments of Mr. Jason.
The next was Starbucks’ video about Oprah Winfrey blending tea for launching Teavana brand. This allowed to introduce the popular US Brands and new vocabulary.
The second part of the session was dedicated to the Slavic traditions of tea drinking. The group was offered a display of artifacts about drinking tea in Ukraine: samples of iconic Ukrainian china cups, tea glass-holders, air-tight boxes for loose tea, etc. The group had to explain to Mr. Jason a lot of fun facts about the displayed artifacts.

In former times, there was a ‘samovar’ – a kind of kettle for boiling water and keeping it warm- and special glasses (not cups) used for serving hot tea. As china cups came to Russia much later than to other countries, Russians used to drink tea out of glasses with metal glass holders. The fine decorated holders were used both for esthetic and practical purposes preventing the palms from direct contact with hot tea. Those who travelled with the Ukrainian or Russian Railways a couple of years ago could have been lucky to see and even use them. Some rare examples can still be found in grandmothers’ cupboards.
The traditional Russian tea is very simple without any additional flavors. At the same time, it never comes on its own. Tea is always served with something sweet (ginger breads, bread rings “bubliki”), with jam, honey or condensed milk.
The topic was interesting and the session was enjoyed by all the participants.
At the end of the meeting we had a tea party.
Number of participants – 29 persons.

Guests from Zaporizhzhia

The "Window on America" center (Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine) had a presentation for the 3rd year students and teachers from the specialized school No.93 from the city of Zaporizhzhia.
The school is focused on the study of English and even primary students demonstrated good knowledge of the US geography and basic historic facts. 
The students and their teachers were informed about the academic exchange program FLEX offered to the Ukrainian students to improve their language skills in the USA.
All the participants of the event were acquainted with the "Window on America" Center and its resources.  The visit to the WOA Center was helpful even to very young English language learners.
Participants number – 30 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please


17 December, 2015

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

American movie for High school Students
"Window on America" Dnipropetrovsk information and resource center was visited by a group of the 9th year students from the neighboring School №23 with profound study of English. The WOA’s Head Svitlana Usenko presented as an educational activity the big-screening of the American movie Mr. Popper’s Penguins. The film is a part of the WOA’s collection of the best Hollywood movies.
Watching the comedy activated the students’ English vocabulary, improved their auditing skills as they listened to the original soundtrack of the movie with English subtitles. Now they will always recognize the voice of the US comedian actor Jim Carrey.
The students enjoyed the adventures of a successful businessman Thom Popper, who inherited six penguins. But a funny thing, Mr. Popper did not mind the fact. On the contrary – he fell in love with these birds and neglected his work. Thom’s luxury apartments in the heart of New York became a huge fridge – a paradise for his pets from Antarctica .Mr. Popper’s love of exotic and adorable penguins helped him to improve the relationships with his own family and to open a new side of life.
 

The young visitors were interested in the WOA’s new book and image display "We love the mountains". The display introduces the US mountain ranges: the Appalachians, The Rocky Mountains, the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, etc. During the Winter Holiday season the school children can make a wish and in their dreams could fly over the ocean to see the beauty of the American mountains.
Number of participants – 25 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please


 

16 December, 2015

Tea with Mussolini

A story of civilized disobedience
At “Wednesday Movie Club” in Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.
The drama film Tea with Mussolini (1999) is a story of civilized disobedience that was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.  Starring American actress Cher and Lilly Tomlin.
Tea with Mussolini is a Anglo-Italian semi-autobiographical film directed by Franco Zeffirelli, scripted by John Mortimer, telling the story of young Italian boy Luca's upbringing by a circle of British and American women, before and during the Second World War.
A group of elderly women, who the Italians have named the Scorpioni, have chosen Italy, specifically Florence, as a place to live to blend their proper British sensibilities ...
WOA’s patrons enjoyed the film and the discussion that followed.
Number of participants – 9.
Have a look at more pictures, please



13 December, 2015

Monopoly @ American Teen Club

The session of the American Teen Club took place in Window on America Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine).
The Head of WOA Svitlana Usenko  prepared several educational activities for the group. The group watched videos, learned Christmas vocabulary and Christmas song. The original subtitles helped the group a lot and introduced many new words and expressions.
Second part of meeting was dedicated to the Monopoly (board game).
Monopoly is a board game that originated in the United States in 1903 as a way to demonstrate the evils of land ownership. The current version was published by Parker Brothers in 1935. Subtitled "The Fast-Dealing Property Trading Game", the game is named after the economic concept of monopoly – the domination of a market by a single entity. It is now produced by the United States game and toy company Hasbro. Players move around the gameboard buying or trading properties, developing their properties with houses and hotels, and collecting rent from their opponents, with the goal being to drive them all into bankruptcy leaving one monopolist in control of the entire economy.
WOA’s young patrons enjoyed the game.
Number of participants – 5 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please

12 December, 2015

International Anti-Corruption Day



At the beginning of the meeting the group of Gabfest members watched the video “We Love American English"  from FB page of American English at State and was very glad to see themselves on the screen.
Today’s session of the Gabfest Club (Window on America center, Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine was dedicated to the topic “International Anti-Corruption Day”.
The topic was rather complicated and some new terms had to be introduced. We started with a word that was hard to translate into Ukrainian – “the whistleblower”.  The group was given samples of the Ukrainian anti-corruption ads and was asked to explain its message to our foreign visitors.
The “Transparency International” organization and its objectives were introduced to the group. The definition of the term “corruption” was explained in several YouTube videos. The Club members were given a task: to share their stories about corruption cases in Ukraine and suggest the remedy how to curb corruption. The most interesting stories were about corruption in courts, education and railway tickets sales.
The group was urged to take corruption as a serious threat to Ukrainian society. They were presented with the addresses of resources and organizations in Ukraine and abroad that will help them to combat this social phenomenon.
The second part of the session was a conversation with our foreign guests – Mr. Paul from the UK and Mr. Manny from New-York City. They told the group about their home towns and their experiences in Ukraine. The Ukrainians tried to explain the cross-cultural difficulties a foreign guest may face in Dnipropetrovsk.
Number of participants – 31 persons.