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A three-week summer Russian camp hosted by East Central University will end tonight (JUNE 29) with a banquet from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Stanley Wagner Ballroom located in the Memorial Student Union at ECU. Students, teachers, parents, counselors and special guests are invited to participate.

Students and counselors will present Russian classic poetry, folk songs and dances they learned during the camp at the banquet.

Seventeen students from Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado ranging from the 8th to the 12th grades in high school participated in “Startalk: in Search of the Firebird” Russian Language Institute.

Funded entirely by the National Security Administration, the camp was designed to immerse high school students in Russian language and culture.

Dr. Mara Sukholutskaya, professor of English and languages and director of Global Education at ECU, was program director and led the language instruction. She was joined by Tatyana Roger and Maria Yevtushenko from the Tulsa Public Schools and Dr. Yevgeny Slivkin from the University of Oklahoma.

Students received lessons in culture from a host of ECU professors including Dr. Alvin Turner, art and folklore; Dr. John Ulrich, politics; Dr. Diana Watson-Maile, cuisine; Dr. Charles Peaden, environmental issues; Dr. Joshua Grasso, poetry; Dr. Melody Baggech, vocal music; Skye Garcia, instrumental music; and Dr. Victoria Dansby, dancing.

Counselors and office workers, who had all completed a Russian minor at ECU, Alexis Brendle, Jacob Stevens, James Cluck, Rayel Schinnerer and Catherine Phipps, led the students through fun evening activities which included Russian movies, cartoons, games, dancing and singing.

As part of the camp, students got a chance to go on several field trips in Oklahoma including outings to the Fred Jones Museum of Art at OU, a Russian grocery store in Oklahoma City, the Chickasaw Culture Center in Sulphur and a Russian Orthodox Church in Hartshorne.

“Startalk: in Search of the Firebird” took place June 10 through June 29. Startalk’s mission is to increase the number of Americans learning, speaking and teaching strategically important world languages that are not now widely taught in the United States.

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