Two Cent Bridge Kotlas - Waterville Area
Sister City Connection
P.O. Box 1747
Waterville, ME 04903-1747
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Street in Kotlas

The Connection and the Colby College Russian Program have spent an exciting week with guests from Kotlas, who taught classes for Russian Sampler 2017. It was a particularly meaningful visit in 2017, the year in which the city of Kotlas celebrates its 100th Anniversary.

Visiting teachers, Liuboví Zinovkina and Irina Reznichenko, and their students, Aleksandra Mamontova (9th grader) and Natalia Khalikina (10th grader) visited many local schools, seeing American education from elementary grades to high schools to Kennebec Valley Community College, as well as Thomas College and Colby College. They observed and participated in classes and had a chance to talk with American students. At the Alfond Youth Center, the Russians visited the After School program and saw many young karate experts in classes.

At the Russian sampler, March 20, 2017, the Russian teachers joined 15 other Maine teachers to present classes on Russian language, history, and culture to 160 students from Central Maine middle and high schools. The American students had a chance to decorate traditional Russian Easter eggs, make a Russian vegetable soup and serve it to their classmates at lunch, and enjoy learning some basic Russian conversational phrases. A teacher who was a classmate of Samantha Smith in Manchester told her students all about Samantha, a young diplomat who devoted herself to peace between the US and the Soviet Union. The students put "Peace Notes" into a bottle, which will be dropped into the ocean and travel far.

One of the Russian teachers presented "100 Years of Kotlas," with a history of changes in Kotlas since its founding. American teachers held a class about the history of the Sister City connection and a class about travels around Kotlas over the past 25 years.

Students had fun, playing the roles of a mother goat and a big bad wolf, as they acted out a Russian fairy tale. And they danced a traditional Russian circle dance. Other students painted wooden blocks with traditional folk motifs and painted ceramic animals, modeled on folk tales.

We are grateful to all the families and schools who welcomed the Russian guests and made their days in Maine so full of interesting learning about American society and culture.

See the slideshow: Kotlas Delegation for Russian Sampler 2017