The K-12 outreach program of the Center for Russian and East European Studies is dedicated to providing primary and secondary school teachers and students in the Pittsburgh region and beyond with resources to promote understanding of the cultures, languages, histories, politics and societies of the nations of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, through school visits, free educational resources, professional development workshops for teachers, and annual student programs. Thanks to the support of a Title VI National Resource Center grant from the US Department of Education, most REES outreach services are offered free of charge to the schools.
REES provides outreach programs to K-12 schools in the following formats:
School Visits Program
This program gives Pittsburgh-area teachers the opportunity to enhance students’ educational experiences and enrich the curriculum by bringing experts on, and visitors from, the REES region to speak at the schools. School visitors may speak on a wide variety of topics related to Eastern Europe, Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union, including language, culture, history, current issues and the arts. Lessons on the Russian alphabet and basic phrases, Ukrainian egg decorating, etc. are available. Faculty at colleges in the Pittsburgh region also may request speakers. To schedule a school visit for your classroom, please contact REES Outreach Coordinator Zsuzsa Magdo.
REES’s Instructional Resource Library includes teachers’ guides, books, videos, audio CDs, and other materials that teachers may borrow by mail for use in their classrooms. There is no charge for borrowing these materials except return postage. In addition to offering physical materials, REES has developed online curriculum guides on the history, politics and cultures of the new East European member countries and prospective members of the European Union, which are available for free downloading by educators. Also, a new University Center for International Studies (UCIS) Outreach website is under development to provide access to educational resources developed for collaborative events held by Pitt’s international studies centers, including REES.
Teachers of Russian and East European Studies Newsletter
This newsletter provides information about REES outreach programs. View the latest issue of the TREES newsletter.
Professional Development Workshops for Teachers
REES cooperates with the African, Asian, European Union, Global, International Business, and Latin American Studies programs at the University of Pittsburgh to organize annual workshops for K-12 teachers on various aspects of international studies. Professional development opportunities also are offered for pre-service teachers.
Annual Student Events
REES cooperates with the University of Pittsburgh’s other international studies programs and local community organizations to offer annual events on campus for secondary school students, including Pitt Model United Nations and programs providing informational resources to minority high school students on international studies and career opportunities. In addition, REES organizes the Pitt STARTALK intensive summer Russian language program for high school students.
Please contact REES Outreach Coordinator Zsuzsa Magdo for information on upcoming teachers' workshops and student events. You can also find updates on UCIS outreach programs at the Pitt K-12 International Studies Resource Facebook page and the K-12 Connector site of Pitt’s College in High School program.