5th Grade Teacher Renee Golder to Travel to Alushta in Spring 2014

Bay View Elementary 5th Grade Teacher Renee Golder was  selected by the Santa Cruz Sister Cities Committee to represent Santa Cruz as part of delegation to Alushta, Ukraine in the spring of 2014.  The Santa Cruz Sister Cities Committee is actively involved in strengthening sister city relationships through a variety of activities including humanitarian projects abroad, youth programs/exchanges, visitor exchanges, cultural and business exchanges, school affiliations/pen pals ukraine(adult & children) and more. The Sister Cities Committee has supported various reciprocal projects with the former Soviet Union (now Alushta, Ukraine) since the early 1980s.

Ms. Golder reports that she is honored and excited to have been selected to be a part of the delegation, which will also include her children Vince (4th grade) and Milan (2nd grade), both students at Bay View Elementary where she teaches.  

She states that “although the program is designed as primarily a cultural exchange, it is also a professional one. I will be planning and teaching with the English teachers at local schools, and collaborating around best practices for English Language Development. Vince and Milan will be in school learning in Russian the entire two weeks.

As a child I vividly remember writing to my penpal in Alushta and receiving correspondence for 4th, 5th and 6th grade at Bonny Doon School. I was always astonished at the ability of another child my age to read and write in a second language. It inspired me to start taking Spanish as an elective as a 7th grader at Mission Hill and continuing my Spanish studies through high school and college.”

Part of Ms. Golder’s experience will be sharing pen pal letters written by students from Santa Cruz with students in Alushta.  She plans to hand deliver them.  The students in Alushta will respond and Ms. Golder will return from her trip with these letters.

If you are interested in participating (or are a parent or teacher who would like to have your child or students participate), please see the attached letter.  Ms. Golder needs the letters by March 21, 2014.