English Language Summer Camp Brings Smiles to Children in Ufa (Jul 12, 2004)
2004 Press Releases
English Language Summer Camp Brings Smiles to Children in Ufa
July 12, 2008
The summer camp, which ran from June 21st to July 9th at a bilingual Bashkir-Russian school (Gymnazium 20) in Ufa, was the first of its kind in Russia and an example of what can happen when dynamic partnerships are developed. This project was the result of a close relationship that has been formed between Embassy Moscow’s English Language Office, the Bashkir-American InterCollege (BAIC) in Ufa, USG program alumni, the U.S. Consulate in Yekaterinburg, and the Bashkortostan Ministry of Education. Directed by Prof. Vytcheslav Shvaiko (Fulbright Alumnus, 1995) of BAIC, the camp enabled 70 secondary school students (ages 12-16) from 7 districts of Ufa to learn English, American studies, and leadership skills. A key element in the program was that all teachers and counselors were alumni of USG programs (Fulbright, Flex, Camp Counseling), who brought with them a unique perspective and attitude to the subjects that were taught. ELO Moscow, Bridget Gersten, with the help of English Language Fellow, Erik Lundell,provided oversight in the recruitment of the participants, designed curriculum, and provided resource materials. The project concluded in a DVC with Assistant Secretary of State Patricia Harrison and Public Affairs Officer in Moscow Larry Wohlers. Press coverage included television broadcasts on"All Ufa"and the regional"Vesti"channel.
Around 50 students from this project will be chosen to continue their study of English at BAIC in FY05 as part of the DoS"ACCESS Microscholarships"program, administered by the Office of English Language Programs in ECA. ELO Gersten will coordinate this project for two years.
With the help of Embassy Moscow, this program marks a significant step in the Yekaterinburg Consulate’s ongoing outreach efforts in Bashkortostan. The Yekaterinburg Consulate has made it a priority to increase programming in the region and just a few months ago in April, helped bring Dr. Omar Khalidi from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to Ufa, where he opened a photo exhibit of American mosques. Plans are currently underway to move this exhibit to Sterlitamak and reach an audience outside of the capital city. The English language summer camp is also a model and a next step in the Consulate’s relationship with its program alumni. Since February, the Consulate has held meetings with alumni in six different cities and discussed ways to enhance cooperation.