AFUES leads the way in developing Ukrainian language education

(UkrNews)—Since its inception in 1979 by the Ukrainian Professional and Business Club of Edmonton, the Alberta Foundation for Ukrainian Education Society (AFUES) has been leading the way in developing Ukrainian language education in this province.

According to its Mission Statement: “The Alberta Foundation for Ukrainian Education Society (AFUES) supports the development of Ukrainian language education in order to foster and promote positive social and cultural identity within Canada’s diverse mosaic. We value the development and innovation of Ukrainian language education (ULE) in Canada. AFUES grants are intended to fund costs associated with scholarships, developing Ukrainian learning resources, conducting research, or other projects related to the development and innovation of Ukrainian language education.”

“Over the years, AFUES as an innovative organization has been very successful in providing financial support for those projects, which help promotion and development of Ukrainian language in Canada,” says Vlodko Boychuk, President of AFUES.

Along with Boychuk, other members of the current Executive and Board of Directors are: Vice President - Vacant; Secretary - Khrystyna Marenych; Treasurer - Ihor Krys; Past President - Marco Levytsky; Director for Membership: Olena Hartsula; Director for Scholarships: Borysa Struk; Members-at-Large: Olenka Bilash, Vera Bokalo, Semen Kostiuk; Marusia Petryshyn, Illija Simcisin.

The current AFUES executive would like to thank members of the outgoing Board for their dedicated service. These include Bohdan Horich, Melody Kostiuk Christina Ostashewsky, Juliana Masiuk,and Alla Nedashivsky

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Left to right: Treasurer Ihor Krys; Past President Marco Levytsky; Secretary Khrystyna Marenych; President Vlodko Boychuk; Members-at-Large Semen Kostiuk and Illija Simcisin.

Missing: Directors Olena Hartsula, Borysa Struk; Members-at-Large: Olenka Bilash, Vera Bokalo, Marusia Petryshyn.

(Photo: Melody Kostiuk)

AFUES initiatives may take the form of scholarships, student study travel to Ukraine, developing Ukrainian learning resources, publishing of learning resources, conducting research or needs analyses, or other projects related to the promotion and sustainability of Ukrainian language learning in Canada. Teachers, instructors, students, schools, researchers, community organizations and other relevant bodies can submit proposals that adhere to the AFUES vision. Repeat applications are welcome, but must be for different projects or initiatives. Recently, AFUES has developed a new application form with clearly defined criteria. This form is available in a fillable PDF format online. Please go to our newly-launched user-friendly website:

With the newly-launched site, AFUES also has a new logo, which was designed by artist Valeriy Semenko.

AFUES has also financially supported many special projects. Among some of the most recent ones was the visit of Ukrainian Education Minister Lilia Hrynevych. She began her visit in Ontario, attending the 2016 National Ukrainian Teachers’ Conference, held May 13-15 in Toronto. This year’s theme was “Ukrainian Schooling in Canada: New and Traditional Approaches”, and focused on new approaches in teaching Ukrainian subjects, motivational strategies, differentiated instruction and cooperative learning, and the use of online resources.

Hrynevych visited Edmonton May 15 – 17 during which time she visited the A. L. Horton Ukrainian Bilingual Schools in Vegreville, participated in a round table discussion at Edmonton Catholic Schools and a panel discussion with the Ukrainian community, which was organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Alberta Provincial Council. Her visit culminated with a meeting with Alberta’s Education Minister David Eggen.

Ukraine's Education Minister Lilia Hrynevych with Alberta Education Minister David Eggen, May 16, 2016

Ukrainian Education Minister Lilia Hrynevych meets with Alberta Education Minister David Eggen, during her visit to Edmonton, May 16, 2016.

In 2014, AFUES supported the second national Ukrainian Teachers of Canada conference, held in Edmonton, in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of Ukrainian bilingual education in Alberta. On May 2 – 4 the Ukrainian Teachers of Canada conference was organized by the National School Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. Other supporters included Alberta Education, Ukrainian cultural Heritage Village, the Ukrainian National Federation (Edmonton Branch) and the Ukrainian Language Education Centre (ULEC) at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta. The conference united 81 participants from across Canada-teachers, students, community members, and parents-to address vital issues of Ukrainian language and culture education in the twenty-first century.

Yet another project supported by AFUES is the Projects Business Ukrainian Textbook by Alla Nedashkivska of the University of Alberta. This textbook is designed to aid students in developing a working knowledge of Ukrainian for the purpose of business and professional contacts in Ukraine. Emphasis is on intensive oral and written practice, with attention to gaining professional and socio-cultural competence in Ukrainian.

Previously AFUEs supported the Ukrainian Through Its Living Culture: Advanced Level Language Textbook, also by Prof. Nedashkivska. This textbook presents a modern version of Ukrainian, one that will encourage students’ interest in learning, with the goal of building proficiency in the language and knowledge of Ukrainian culture and society.

AFUES has also sponsored workshops for Ukrainian Teachers of Alberta, initiated a Request for Proposals in order to do a Needs Assessment of “Tut i Tam” Book Series, hosted a Ukrainian Language Education Stakeholders’ meeting to discuss strategies of our future cooperation together in support of Ukrainian Language Education in this province, given support for students of the Ivan Franko School of Ukrainian Studies in Edmonton for ongoing language programs, the Canada-Ukraine Alliance for Hearing Persons, the Ridna Shkola Saturday Ukrainian Heritage School, the Medwidsky Fund at the University of Alberta, and the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, also at U of A, just to mention a few.

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