Traditionally, in summer Mary American Corner hosts Debate Tournament. On July 14-15 the Fifth Regional Debate Tournament welcomed the teams from 4 sites of the Mary region -Sakarchage, Bairamali, Yoloten and Mary city. On the pre- tournament day the organizers, FLEX alumni, familiarized all the participants with the debate rules precisely parliamentary debate. The participants were involved in public-speaking and teambuilding activities. The organizers assigned Peace Corps volunteers as the judges. The following topics were given throughout the tournament: “Video games are good for children”, “Is it dangerous for children to view cartoon violence?” Throughout the judging process some teams were losing and getting out of the contest. Two teams, Mary and Yoloten, were left for the final debate. By the end of the final round it was obvious that the team from Mary was stronger and more confident in its arguments. Debating lasted more than 4 hours, and after hot competition it was announced that the Mary team won the tournament and got a Trophy.
On July 19, Aleksandra Pavlova’12 organized a power point presentation that was dedicated to her exchange experience in the United States. Eighteen Turkmenabat American Corner visitors participated in this event. At first FLEX alumna talked about her host town, its geographical location and population. Moreover, she described her life with the host family, studies at the American High School, etc. Participants were really interested in the presentation, so at the end they asked alumna a lot of questions.
On July 20 Jahan Nurmuhammedova, TEA alumna 2011 organized “TEA Workshop” for 24 secondary school teachers. The main purpose of the workshop was to share US experience and share different methodology of teaching and exchanging resource materials. At the beginning of the workshop teachers played brainstorming game on sharing ideas of teaching methodologies. Afterward alumna shared her experience gained in US, talked about Foreign System of teaching at schools and TEA Program objectives. Following Meylis Hummedov, Information/Media Assistant at Public Affairs section of US Embassy in Ashgabat distributed various recourses such as, books, magazines, puzzles and CDs. During coffee break teachers exchanged resource materials and associated with other teachers. By the end of the presentation teachers held question and answer session. As a result of the workshop, participants learned different types of teaching methods and learned more about TEA program as well as received new informative recourses.
English language is one of the most spoken languages in the world and a lot of young people in Turkmenistan are eager to learn it. Therefore Tatyana Malyhina FLEX ’10 decided to open summer camp for young children in the Turkmenabat American Corner. This club takes place 3 times in a week and 13 children participates in it. During the first lesson, Tatyana Malyhina FLEX ’10 introduced an English alphabet to participants and taught new words. At the end of the event children watched a cartoon and play development games.
Smile has always been considered as something positive and optimistic. The Mary American Corner volunteers along with the FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange) alumni organized the Action “World Looks Brighter When You Smile” in Mary downtown which became a huge success of positivistic wave promotion in the community. By the beginning of the action, the leaders and the American Corner volunteers prepared smiley faces on the paper-board as a symbol of positive mood. During the event the participants of the Action gave out a smiley face along with candies to every person passing by. After having got the smiley faces, people smiled and thanked the organizers for conducting this action. The organizers reached the goal to give out a positive mood to about 350 people in the city. This action increased positivism and optimism in the community and demonstrated that smile makes the world look brighter. The organizers realized the power of smile. All the participants were encouraged to have more positivism promotion actions in our community.
On June 17, Shahlo Seyitmedova, UGRAD alumna 2012 organized “Essay Writing Class” for 8 students at the Dashoguz American Corner. The main purpose of the class was to provide guidelines and help students feel more comfortable with the prospect of writing on demand. At the beginning of the class Shahlo Seyitmedova, UGRAD` 12 revised past covered materials and everybody started reading out their essays on the theme of “Whom I see myself in the future”. Following Shahlo Seyitmedova explained how to write a statement of purpose gave tips on describing personal qualities and showed how to make a strong analysis. By the end of the class everybody received another assignment to be done for the next lesson. As a result, participants received useful information and increased independent writing skills.
On May 13, PCV Christian organized a presentation that was dedicated to the famous holiday in the United States- Mother’s Day. Twenty four American Corner visitors in Turkmanabat participated in this event. First of all, Peace Corp Volunteer talked about the history and tradition of this holiday and explained why this holiday is important. Later on Christian KernKamp divided participants into 4 teams and distributed some handouts, so the main aim was to find as many words as each team could on this Word Search paper. At the end, participants had a discussion activity.
American Corner visitors in Mary have been striving not only to make a difference in the lives of the people in the community, but also beyond it. On May 16, Ogulsheker Mammetgurbanova’11, American Corner Alumni Assistant, 6 American Corner Volunteers visited Seniors’ Home in Murgab town. The main goal of the activity was to distribute clothes, to communicate with seniors and meanwhile to show importance of seniors in our life.
At the beginning of the event the leaders implemented a dancing party for seniors to warm up the atmosphere and give a chance to dance and have fun. Also, FLEX Alumni and American Corner volunteers had a talk with the seniors. It extremely demonstrated respect, care, love and value to our older generation. At the end of the trip, seniors thanked everybody for their contribution.
On May 17, 2012 Madina Sabirova ` 11 together with Guzel Madraimova, AUBG Student organized a “Poetry Night” at the Dashoguz American Corner. The main purpose of the event was to celebrate the Turkmen Holiday and familiarize visitors with foreign poetry. Madina Sabirova FLEX 2011, Shahlo Seyitmedova UGRAD `12, Jahan Agayeva SUSI and Gozel Madraimova AUBG Student organized the poetry night for 17 American Corner active visitors and volunteers. During the Poetry Night visitors listened to the poems by William Wordsworth, Maltbie Babcock, etc. Poems talked about destiny, nature and self-exploration. Participants were divided in two groups and played a competition. Representatives of the two groups were told to choose a poem by different poets and read them out expressively. Ogulbagt Narova, one of the active visitors of Dashoguz American Corner, performed “Be Strong” poem by Maltbie Babcock. Gaining many point on expressive reading she received a small gift for her great performance. This event helped to raise appreciation of poetry among the community of Dashoguz American Corner.
On January 21, FLEX alumni and American Corner volunteers visited the Orphanage House in Turkmenabat and they tried to make a difference on that day. Thus before coming there, they put a donation box at the American Corner Turkmenabat, so visitors could bring clothes, books, and toys for children. Later on participants brought some candies, cookies and fruits for children in order to make a holiday for them. Likewise alumni organized some activities such as watching a Christmas cartoon, playing games and dancing with children.