м. Гадяч, вул. Гетьманська, 62-б

From Florida to Velbivka: Americans Taught Local Children

ще американціHadiach pupils enjoyed live interaction with foreigners, applied their knowledge and talents in different games, competitions, theater acting, and altogether had a really great experience. These unusual activities took place at the children’s camp “Horizon” during the first three weeks term.  The camp children had guests, a group of teachers from the United States of America. We surely would not have wanted to miss this event so we went to the camp to meet American guests.

We arrived at the camp on the day the first term was ending and a majority of the children were getting ready to go home.  However, some children were not in a hurry to leave.  From one of the rooms we heard quite loud and joyful singing in the English language.  For the most curious and most active pupils American teachers were conducting their last lesson. The door to the classroom was open so we entered and as soon as we did we were given the textbooks and were invited to join the activity.  Certainly, we accepted the invitation. The lesson was going in a very friendly form.  Children and teachers were communicating like good friends and it was obvious everybody had fun.

We did not want to distract the pupils so we did not stay long, we decided to wait for a break outside and got a chance to talk with Olga Beseda, the director of Hadiach Specialized Boarding School named by E. P. Kochergin. (This camp is a structural subdivision of the school.)
американці“We consider the first two 3-week terms at the “Horizon” as our foreign language camps.  While enjoying their rest here children also work on improving their English and German languages skills.  Our boarding school foreign language teachers have been conducting this kind of camp for two years and we are pleased with the results.  This year we invited guests from the USA. Even though the American teachers spent only one week at our camp, it was a rewarding experience for our children. During the lessons various good moral living themes and ecology themes have been discussed. “

It was not by chance that this group of American teachers chose to come to Hadiach district. One of the teachers of the boarding school Valentina Kobrak and Lyuba Wharton (one of instructors-linguists) have been friends for a long time.  When Valentina learned about the USA group planning a mission trip to Ukraine she invited them to our camp without hesitation.

During a break after the lesson, Americans joined our conversation.  The group of six teachers arrived after a camp in one of the Ivano-Frankivsk schools.  Among the foreign guests only Lyuba knew Ukrainian, she emigrated to the USA twenty years ago and now she and her family live in Florida. In the Ivano-Frankivsk camp American teachers worked with the pupils at school and in the afternoon everybody went home.  At the “Horizon” American teachers and the campers have been able to communicate all day long.  In addition to four lessons campers have been able to participate in one-on-one and group conversations in English.  A lot of campers were brave enough to try speaking English in the friendly relaxed atmosphere. The camp was indeed an excellent atmosphere for communication! 

"We have filled our lessons with serious materials but we also wanted the children to have fun,” Bill Wharton told us.  “And we have been quite impressed by the local schoolchildren.  They showed very good knowledge of foreign language to us even though they are studying it at the regular not specialized language school."

The six American teachers worked during the first couple of days at the “Horizon” camp. Unfortunately, two of them could not deal very well with our changing weather. Susan Lawson and her grandson, 19-year-old Michael, Jr., got a bad cold. Of this family, Michael Lawson, Sr., the leader of the group, worked with children all week.  Mr. Lawson, Sr. is presently a pensioner; having retired from the Xerox company. The Lawson family lives in the state of Tennessee.

The Americans recognized, that though they did not see the entire Poltava region, they did have enough time to fall in love with our beautiful landscapes.  And during a festive supper that was served after the camp closing ceremony, they promised to plan another  trip to Ukraine next year.  By the way, our guests really enjoyed our delicious food and will try to cook some dishes at home.

After the camp “Horizon,” the American group went to Sumy for three days and then back to USA.  They exchanged their contacts with many campers. We hope the communication between the American teachers and Hadiach boarding school will continue.  

Oksana Kirichenko and Oleksandr Tovsty  (переклад Lyuba Wharton, Gainesville, FL, USA)

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0 #1 Егор Ка 05.07.2017, 18:27
Итц рылли кулл энд вэри найс!
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