Project "Smile"


“Children’s Drawing Contest in specialized school for children that committed crimes, situated in the village Krasnii Bor, near the small city of Tutaev, Yaroslavl Oblast’ of Russia “

On June 28, 2005 in Internet Access Technologies Project Center, administered by Project Harmony Inc. in Yaroslavl Oblast Library was held a meeting of Alumni of the US-sponsored programs. There was announced “Project Smile” Childens’ Art Competition and volunteers were invited to join the project. Among them were: Olga Kutuzova (Hubert H.Humphrey Program), Galina Shamatonova, Andrey Generalov (Open World), Vladimir Pimenov, Grigoriy Sidorov (Community Connections), Natalia Zelenova (Business for Russia), Olga Kononenko (SABIT) – members of Yaroslavl US Alumni Association. Danielle Lussier, participant of the US-RussiaYoung Leaders Program, who was on research trip to Yaroslavl, had joined the team.

Also two teachers had volunteered to help to coordinate the project activities: Svetlana Tokareva from school #2 of Tutaev city and Vera Akilova from Yaroslavl School #59. Both teachers have experience with organization of Childens’ Art Contests in their schools, initiated by International Investment Center in the past .

Two Yaroslavl artists – Boris Kholmovskiy and Galina Efimova – had participated in jury with professional advice.

The preparation for activities was held from June 28 to July 12, 2005, the contest itself took place on July 13, 2005 in the specialized school in Krasny Bor village (Tutaevskiy region of Yaroslavl Oblast). 26 schoolboys decided to take part in the competition, others were supporters. They had discussed in advance the proposed topic - the local nature and traditions, and adviced in writing a short story or tale - description of the drawing on the reverse side. “Project Smile” buttons, distributed among schoolboys, raised interest and attracted attention to the competition.

Ten volunteers, among them ECA program alumna Danielle Lussier, took part in the announcement of competition, told boys about “Project Smile” and answered questions. Danielle, who can speak Russian very well, spoke to children about US, her native city, her school and her work. She was the first American who had talked to these boys and they had listened to her with great interest and respect. It was a real lesson and a big event in the school. After it boys had received paper, paints, pencils and brushes.

While the competition began, volunteers were taken to the excursion around the school buildings by school administration. The “Project smile” team had observed dormitories, playgrounds, greenhouse, school art museum, library, club, workshops. Teachers in this school are enthusiasts and care about their students a lot, wishing to support them and encourage to start a new life. During the discussion it was considered that the most useful, valuable and interesting prizes for boys were table-tennis, football and basketball sporting goods. Students of this school are very fond of sports, but lack of necessary balls, rockets, etc. does not permit them to play well.

Boys had chosen various themes for their pictures, though most of them had painted landscapes. They draw the scenes of everyday life at school –cutting grass, collecting harvest, fishing and also pictures of their dreams about safe and pleasant home, walking in parks with imaginary relatives ( “Elder brother”, “Grandfather”).

The most interesting essay was a tale about a single wooden house in the forest, with a cat, that needed milk and an old man, who needed care. The boy wanted to come there to live, light a candle, feed the cat and talk to an old man in the twinlight.

The jury had gathered on July 17, 2005 and decided about the award-winning artworks. After a vivid discussion were awarded 1 first prize, 1 second prize, 1 third prize, two special prizes for creativity and one special prize for the best essay. It was decided that ball for football will be given for the first prize award, basketball – for the second prize, table-tennis set – for the third prize. Special prizes included chess set, set of markers and “Everything about an Art” book for the best essay.

And award ceremony was held on July 19, 2005 in the art class of specialized school. Volunteers bought cakes, sweets, tea for the tea-party and thoroughly chose the sport balls and other awards. When “Project Smile” team had arrived to the school, everybody there was waiting for guests and eager to know the results of the competition. Certainly if any of these children were to win recognition in an Art Contest it would be of tremendous significance to that student, his friends, classmates and school. Many of these boys before arriving to this specialized school have no idea how to draw pictures - in technical way, they never used paints and brushes. Some of them were also illiterary – they can’t read and write and had not learned how to do it, because their parents did not permitted them to go to school. These children committed crimes because they were underprivileged, many of them are orphans or their parents did not paid attention on them. Many of these children consider school their home and teachers – close relatives.

Local newspaper “Berega” had published an article about Project Smile and a picture of the first prize winner. Local community had welcomed the idea of social adaptation through creative arts.

This contest was a way for these boys to use their creative energies and I think that the goal of the project was achieved, because this event had raised interest in both arts and sports, boys asked about future competitions, and after a tea-party they immediately went to play football, basketball and chess.

School administration awarded the “Project Smile” team with a Letter of Appreciation and expressed gratitude and hope that these useful and warm relationships will continue in the next projects – for example, one of the volunteer members of jury – Galina Efimova agreed to come to school to give master-classes in painting.

During “Project Smile’ activities the most interesting, touching and productive parts were jury discussion about presented artworks and also it was encouraging to see boys playing new balls with great enthusiazm. The whole tam agreed to continue the project and return in fall to help to conduct art lessons and sport contest. Everybody wanted to take part in Project Smile in the future.

contact information +7(916)276-36-71
Контактная информация

счетчик посещений

=> Тебе нужна собственная страница в интернете? Тогда нажимай сюда! <=