Art Exchange Success: Ukrainian American Connections
Today, I was so excited to pass out artwork that we received from our Ukrainian friends at the Zaporizhya Classical Lyceum. It turns out that mail between Ukraine and the United States is expensive and takes a long time. However, it was worth it! We are making some amazing connections between these two countries, one friendship at a time.
My friend Lydia and her students received our art last month, each accompanied by a photograph and write up. Our students illustrated various aspects that they identified of their personal culture.
In return, we got stunning artwork from these talented Ukrainian students.
Each piece of art was accompanied by notes and photos, which were equally poignant for our students to read.
Many of the Ukrainian students expressed a real sense of pride in their country.
And many students just drew their hobbies, favorite cartoons or video games, pets, and other interests — not so different from any of our students.
All in all, the experience of exchanging art like this couldn’t be more powerful. We did a similar exchange two years ago, but this year we matched individual students with a particular partner, so that they can get to know each other. Each student received the art made by the student who got their art, and we are hoping students exchange emails after this introduction. My students are a little shy, but a few students wanted to say their “thank yous” right away:
What’s next? Our afternoon classes are waiting for our partners in Bangladesh to finish up their art, and I’ll be seeking out more international partners for our next quarter’s classes. It’s never boring in Social Studies class!
Note: This project could not have happened without all the of the talented educators who helped make this exchange possible. Thanks to my partner teacher Katy Angelone, and my teacher friends in Ukraine: Lydia, Julia, and Lyudmila. I got to travel to the Zaporizhya Classical Lyceum as part of the Teachers for Global Classrooms program, back in 2012. You can read more about my time there by checking out my videos and blog entries posted here.