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Travel, Teach, and Learn Opp

January 5, 2015

Promoting American understanding of Russian folklore & traditional Russian life & culture

Russian / American Educators’ Exchange
–connect at the roots–
Summer 2015

In 2014 AFRF sent 20 American middle and high school teachers on out-of-the-ordinary field trip — they traveled to rural Russia, taught Russians about American folklore, and collected Russian folklore to incorporate into their own curriculum back home.

Everybody was so pleased with the results that in 2015 we’re doing it again!

Thanks to a grant extension from the US/Russia Peer-to-Peer Dialog Program, and with travel support from the Russian & East European Institute at Indiana University, we’ll be sending 12 more American teachers to Russian villages to film holiday celebrations, record local singers, interview villagers about traditional lore, and photograph local handicrafts.  The teachers will experience Russian village life first-hand, living in a village house and eating the local food.

They will also visit Russian rural schools, where they have been invited to make presentations about American folklore to the students and staff. There they will meet with Russian teachers to discuss matters of mutual professional interest and make contacts for possible future collaboration.

Back home, the American teachers commit to producing, using and sharing curriculum materials incorporating some element of  Russian folklore. The curriculum materials can be in any subject.

The three folklore expeditions are timed to coincide with important holidays of the Russian traditional calendar:

• Expedition 1: Easter in Volgograd province, Danilov district.
April 8 – April 21 2015
• Expedition 2: Pentecost/Trinity Week in Smolensk province, Sevsk district.
May 21 – June 3 2015
• Expedition 3: Dormition Day traditions and first day of school traditions,
Bryansk province, August 22 – September 4.

What do you need to qualify?  You need to:

  • hold a valid US passport
  • be employed as a teacher or curriculum specialist at a public or private school
  • teach at the middle- or high-school level (grades 6-12)
  • prepare an American folklore presentation to share in Russia
  • commit to creating, using and disseminating curriculum materials that incorporate Russian folklore. The curriculum materials can be in any subject.
  • provide a letter of support from your principal

What will this cost?

The program grant covers all travel, food and lodging, including an orientation meeting before departure and flights between New York and Moscow. While funds last, participants who live at least 200 miles from New York City can also apply for up to $200 reimbursement of their travel costs between their homes and JFK.

We will assist with obtaining a Russian visa, but participants will be responsible for most of the visa fee — your cost will be around $300, more if you require rush service.

All educators who work with middle- or high-school students or curriculum are encouraged to apply.  Preference will be given to those whose schools are in rural areas — Census Bureau Locale Codes 41,42 or 43.
Registration for each trip will close 60 days before the trip start date.

Application instructions are here.

2 comments

  1. This seems to be a great opportunity to enrich the learning by the use of folk MUSIC, from both countries. I should think that a comparison of the elements of folk music would be exciting!


  2. Yes, I agree Iris and a fabulous opportunity for students of the teachers who take advantage of this learning travel. ~Argy



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