English Language Specialist Efrain Diaz is visiting Poland throughout the month of June to conduct a series of workshops for teachers of English at the young learners’ level. As part of U.S. Embassy outreach to Polish teachers of English, Diaz will teach new techniques, strategies and methods to over one thousand teachers throughout Poland. In addition to running workshops at the Young Learners Resource Center (YLRC) in Warsaw, he will visit YLRCs in Bialystok, Szczecin, Gdansk, Lubartow and Wrzesnia, site of the newest center, set to open June 21. Diaz’s workshops will focus on current teaching trends, methods, strategies, and techniques. He will also address lesson planning and the role of grammar and language fluency in second-language learning, as well as innovation in communication methods.

Mr. Diaz will also take part in the International Conference “Multilingual, Multinational Schools: Opportunities and Threats,” organized by the YLRC in Warsaw, Bureau of Education of the City Hall of Warsaw, WCIES (Warszawskie Centrum Innowacji Edukacyjno-Spolecznych I Szkolen), and the U.S. Embassy. He will participate in the 8th English Teaching Market in Stare Jablonki organized by the Polish-American Freedom Foundation and Nidzica Development Foundation “NIDA.”

Efrain Diaz, affiliated with Hodges University in Naples, FL, is a bilingual educator and writer with experience teaching at all education levels, from elementary to adult. He conducts training seminars and workshops for Florida’s Department of Education and teacher state certification.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will announce the release of the 10th annual Trafficking in Persons Report today at 16:30 in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the Department of State.  The Report will be posted at 13:00 on Monday, June 14 and may be accessed at www.state.gov/g/tip.

The 177-country report is the most comprehensive worldwide report on the efforts of governments to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons, a modern form of slavery. Its findings are intended to raise global awareness and spur countries to take effective actions to counter trafficking in persons. The assessment includes reports on 175 countries assigned ranks, including the first-ever ranking of the United States.

Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons announced, “This year, we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of two landmark efforts to combat modern slavery. Ten years ago, President Clinton signed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act into law. And, that same year, the world came together at the United Nations and set international standards with the negotiation of the Palermo Protocol.  And since then, thousands of victims have been helped; thousands of traffickers have been arrested and prosecuted.”

On June 10, Professor Anna Markowska of Wroclaw University will discuss the works of distinguished American artist Roni Horn at CSW Auditorium in Zamek Ujazdowski.

The exhibition opened on April 29 at the Center for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw and will be on show until June 13. The exhibition presents a series of her most recent works, including You are the Weather (1994-1995), Cabinet of (2001), Bird (2008) and a.k.a. (2008/2009).

The U.S. Embassy in Warsaw and the Trust for Mutual Understanding are among the sponsors of the exhibition.

On May 24, the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, responding to a request from the Minister of Interior and the Fire Brigades, delivered fourteen specialized pumps to help with flood relief efforts. The high-volume pumps have been put to work cleaning up flooded areas of Wroclaw, Plock, Sandomierz, Warsaw and elsewhere.

In addition to the donation of the specialized pumps, Consul General Allen Greenberg announced on behalf of the United States Mission to Poland that the United States Government will contribute US$50,000 to the Polish Red Cross to assist in emergency response to the flooding.

The United States Ambassador to Poland Lee Feinstein, Consul General Allen Greenberg and the staff of the U.S. Mission to Poland would like to express solidarity with those who have suffered as a result of the damage caused by floods around Poland.

The U.S. Embassy Warsaw and the Center of Citizenship Education would like to invite you for the opening of the Democracy is… Photo Competition exhibition that will take place on May 28 at 17:30 in InfoQultura  on Plac Konstytucji 4. The exhibit is hosted at InfoQultura at the courtesy of the Cultural Department of the City Hall of Warsaw. After the opening we invite you for a discussion with Tomasz Tomaszewski, one of the Democracy is… Photo Competition 2010 jurors and the Grand Press 2010 winner, who will speak about featuring the theme of democracy and Poland in contemporary photography in his presentation “Photography, democracy, Poland – how to combine them?”

The exhibition features the winning photograph by Maciej Kowalówczany from Warsaw  and nine photographs acknowledged by the jury, which comprised professional photographers, U.S. Embassy diplomats and representatives from the Center of Citizenship Education, the official partner of the Democracy is…Photo Competition 2010.  The contestants had to present in a photograph of their own what democracy means to them. The competition was addressed to participants between 15 and 17 as an accompanying project of the second edition of the global Democracy Video Challenge competition.

 We are pleased to announce that Poland has a finalist in the Democracy Video Challenge for the second year in a row!  “Democracy is Like a Keyboard” by Krzysztof Rzesniowiecki has made it through to the Finals, and it is now up to you to vote for the winner.  Voting will be open until June 15.

 Last year’s grand prize winner, Łukasz Szozda of Poland, travelled to New York, Washington DC and Hollywood in September 2009, where he and five grand prize winners from other regions around the world met with democracy activists and members of the film and television industry.  With your votes, Krzysztof can have the same opportunity. 

 Vote now at http://www.youtube.com/democracychallenge

 Good luck Krzysztof!

Polish IVLP alumna Malgorzata Gorska holding the Goldman Environmental Prize

Polish International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumna Małgorzata Górska was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize on April 19, 2010.  Górska, an environmental activist from the Polish Society for the Protection of Birds, won the award for her successful campaign to halt the construction of a highway that would have cut through the Rospuda Valley, one of Europe’s last patches of undisturbed wilderness and home to a variety of wildlife and endangered bird species.

The Goldman Environmental Prize comes with a $150,000 cash award and is informally known as the “Green Nobel Prize.”  The Goldman Prize Committee said that Górska was ” was “instrumental in fostering a citizens’ movement (…) to protect the Rospuda Valley from construction.” Górska took part in an IVLP project entitled “Balancing Environmentalism and Transportation” in 2008.

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