Jackie LeshFulbright-HaysProject OverviewPrior to the trip, my original plan was to develop an artist and author unit basedon using the art of Marc Chagall to recreate the ballet
I have not abandonedthis original idea and I am excited to build that unit into my curriculum for next year;however, while traveling, and immediately after I returned, there seemed to be moreimmediate applications of the information I collected.While traveling in Russia, as a group we were making a list of things that Russiadid not have that we thought of as conveniences. The list ranged from Tupperware toanimal control. I realized as I traveled that when I tried to explain special education to people, only educators on the university level knew what I was talking about. I observeda lack of programs for children and adults with disabilities in schools and in society ingeneral. It was always on my mind while I was there. I wanted Russia to have specialeducation and I had no idea how to do that. It wasn’t until I met Sergey Kolganov that Irealized what my project would be. Sergey is a social worker that works at arehabilitation center for children with disabilities in Murom, Russia. He approached meand asked if we could open a line of communication about special education schools inthe United States. My project is to help Sergey examine the history of human rightsamendments made to the constitution regarding people with disabilities and also providehim with examples of successful programs here in the United States. We have startedour communication and I am currently answering questions Sergey has about TheAmerican’s with Disabilities Act via e-mail.The second part of my project is to create an integrated unit about RussianCulture. I work at an arts based school for students with learning disabilities. When Ireturned from Russia, I made my picture files, lecture notes and other materials availableto the teachers at my school on a public drive. I also met with the art, drama, worldcultures, and history teachers. When I asked the director of the performing artsdepartment to collect information on how the Russian Unit was developing the reply was:
From Mr. Gray (Set Design):The back-drop for the Russian folk tales performance on October 23Czar Ivan (the Terrible), embodied all that is Russian when he had St. Basil's Cathedral built outside the gates of the Kremlin in Moscow. "The result is a [an architectural] riotof texture, hue and contours that -rather than being chaotic- achieves an unexpectedharmony, drawing the eye of the viewer serenely toward the gold-plated dome thatcrowns the church's spire." Napoleon ordered the church burnt down and Stalin wantedto replace it with a subway station. Preservationists will be employed for a long timesaving this symbol of the Russian culture.