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A Letter From Russia

Daphne Earley
Russia

This fall one of my Russian colleagues approached me, asking about ideas I had to help build girls' self-esteem. She felt that with the collapse of the Communist system a void had been created in the girls' lives. She explained that earlier there were clear roles for girls, who now weren't sure what to do, and didn't know who they were.

We decided to create a Russian folklore theater group. We spent months collecting old songs and dances. Then we began making costumes and rehearsing. In December, the girls performed for the school. The girls were shy at first, but, as people began to clap and sing along, they realized they were a great success. To this day they continue to perform.

I would strongly encourage others to establish theater groups. I would also advise a few essentials: a strong host country national; focusing on host country themes; getting families involved; and letting the children develop the program.

Daphne Earley (Russia)

Daphne was an English Teacher in Russia. She has a B.A. in Fine Arts and is originally from Spearfish, South Dakota.

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