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Visions, Vistas and Voices
National Conference for the Social Studies
Denver, Colorado, November 12-14, 2010

Report submitted by Raymond and Cecilia Glembocki
NCSS Co-Chairs, ACPC

I would like to thank everyone for their generous donations for this extremely worthwhile project. Not only were we overwhelmed with the activity and responses that we received but it is YOU who we wish to thank for the experience to show off our heritage. Such an honor indeed. New ideas, new approaches and a new display created a perfect atmosphere to present our culture traditions, folklore and historical facts in a new and interesting light.

We were proud to share our traditions, culture, folklore and accurate historical information to curriculum specialists, teachers, principals, teachers, tour guides, librarians and individuals who traveled and studied in Poland or were planning on going to Poland soon.

It was far beyond our expectations as first time exhibit chairs for this conference. We arrived in Denver in the mist of light snowfall anxiously awaiting our packages to be delivered to the convention center but due to conflicts with Dorota Badiere's work schedule we couldn't take her offer of delivery to the convention center. Thank goodness for a taxi van who packed up 20 boxes of books, display cases, posters and our valuable CDs and DVDs and drove us to the center loading ramps. We arrived at the convention center only to find that the cost of moving all 20 boxes was prohibitive so thanks to Debbie Majka, we used our wheels on our suitcases to transport those heavy boxes to our booth. The location was absolutely perfect -- thanks to Barbara for previously selecting that spot.

We were able to set up and were so proud of all the materials sent by Barbara Lemecha, Aquila Polonica publishing, the Malgorzata Cup, Consul for Culture, Press, Education and Polish Community, Consulate General of the Republic of Poland - Los Angeles, Consul General Zygmunt Matynia, of Chicago, Polish American Congress - Dr. Barbara Andersen DC's and Beata Paszyc-Honorary Vice Consul of the Republic of Poland-Executive Director The American Institute of Polish Culture, Inc. the Polish Center in Miami Florida and the Gingrich Foundation.

Jason Franzen, who was in the Polish Perspectives booth was sponsored by the Polanie Club of Minneapolis/St. Paul. He is also a member of The Polish American Cultural Institute of Minnesota. The president of Polanie, Deborah McPherson, was responsible for sending such an outstanding young man to present historical facts about Poland and representing the Minneapolis group. What a historian he was. He engaged everyone in meaningful conversation about Solidarity, WWII and accurate information about the Holocaust. Not only did he inform everyone who visited our booth but also engaged other exhibitors just to be sure everyone had our story.

Ray was so excited to share historical information about Poland and Polish Americans. He also used the printed material that explained the CD. We gave out more than 450 copies. People were so engaged with the materials presented and especially the Solidarity poster reprinted by Barbara Lemecha. We would have given out hundreds of copies.

I briefed teachers on using our latest lesson plan about "Linking Cultures and Enriching Lives" Everyone thought they could incorporate that into their culturally diverse classrooms. So many teachers were impressed with our straw decorated miniature Christmas tree. The ornaments were borrowed from Bernadette and Richard Wiermanski and Robert and Mary Flanagan. They had previously used these ornaments every year to decorate a Christmas tree at the John Paul II Cultural Center. Many had never seen such lovely straw decorations. Candies were placed under the tree and they were so popular that many came back for more and more. What a huge success that was. REAL POLISH CANDIES. They were purchased by Dorota Bodiere in Denver. We went through 20 pounds of candy in two days. Quite interestingly, a teacher saw the candy and told the story that he developed a lesson about the prisoners in the concentration camps and on one occasion the prisoners had no food except for this one piece of candy that they split 8 ways. He was amazed that the candy we had on display was the EXACT piece of candy in the film that he played for his students. We gave him enough for his next class (25 pieces) He was thrilled. He was so thankful and pleased to have connected the film's episode with the actual candy on display.

I presented the DVD on the Nine Days that Changed the World and a lesson plan developed by Gingrich's Vince Haley. He prepared this lesson plan and we had a sample copy printed that contained 80 pages. What a historical account of John Paul's Life, the time line for Christianity, a time line for the fall of communism. It so accurately portrayed a person who lived his life with a purpose, a humble man who changed world history. Many purchased the DVD, others made a donation but those who saw the DVD that they were so pleased with their Polish Pope. Posters that were donated from the John Paul II Cultural Center were distributed not only to Catholic schools but to folks who were Polish or Catholic and cherished the fact of having such beautiful posters available free of charge. The download for the study guide would be placed on the ACPC web site shortly.

There were three lesson plans that were printed out for history teachers. They enjoyed the Jamestown lesson plan and the Pulaski and Kosciuszko's materials. The early childhood education booklets went very quickly as the teachers in the elementary grades couldn't find enough historical information for their students. We reassured them that there would be more available next year on the CD.

The Pulaski and Paderewski's booklets were a huge success. They couldn't get enough of them to share with their students. Many states have Pulaski day off and they all wanted more information.

The booth background display consisted of three story board panels, (36 x 78 inches) designed by Carla Tomaszewski of Maryland. She has her own graphic design business trading under the www.poppyfieldpress@md.metrocast.net. She had many wonderful cards, posters etc. that we distributed to our attendees. The three panels were on the history of Poland, Days to fly the Polish Flag and Polish Folklore. I had small table-top boards mounted on foam core that dealt with The Katyn memorial, a poem about Hatred by a Polish Nobel prize winner and three others on Pisanki, Culture and Cuisine. People asked for recipes as to how to make traditional Polish foods. There were others who wanted to recreate their Polish holidays of Wigilia and Swieconka. They had Polish backgrounds and were so proud that they wanted to pass on the their Polish heritage to their families.

With Debbie Majka at the helm, leading our discussions on history, we all followed her lead from the lovely Polish Amber to the books on Chopin and Paderewski. We gave away CD as a door prize through donated by Jaroslaw Golebiowski. The lady who received the CD was so thrilled and thankful for this gift.

The experience left us with an exhilarated feeling that it was so rewarding to share our heritage, our customs, our knowledgeable facts about the war and Polish Americans. Everyone was thirsty for the truth. They wanted accurate information. They loved the books and pamphlets about Solidarity. A librarian wanted all the book marks sent by the publisher because her library they give them out with every library book. She waited till the end of the day and was grateful for the opportunity to take the leftovers.

Tour guides or attendees who were going to travel to Poland loved the CD. We had hard copies of the CD printed out so they could glance at the extensive research done by Barbara and Henrietta. There are many links to other sites and other organizations that it made it a complete reference guide to Polish Culture. It truly was a document on Polish Perspectives and world events. So many Polish notables contributed to the American Revolution that history teachers asked for more information especially about Jamestown, the lesson plan from the presentation made by Meg Huebeck on "Perspectives of Fear -- The Polish Experience During World War II" They commented on last year's presentation and they were looking for that particular lesson plan. It is now on the ACPC website under Lesson Plans.

We got to meet the knowledgeable Meg Huebeck from the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. An extremely talented faculty member who loved the work involved with Pope John Paul. She told everyone about the DVD and how it moved her to tears. She so graciously made a lesson plan and will soon make Mr. Haley's study plan document suitable for 7-12 grade teachers.

We were exhausted after the first day of non stop talking and meeting guests. We were all thrilled at the response, the location, the materials provided by generous supporters. It was indeed an experience that will not soon be forgotten. The camaraderie of the group generated enthusiasm beyond my expectations. While Jason, Debbie and Raymond concentrated on historical facts, I on the other hand made culture, traditions and folklore come alive. It was a spark of enthusiasm that teachers themselves could make posters like this and have students talk about their own roots. What an eye opener, "aw ah" moment that as a teacher you know you've reached a special place in their minds that say YES I could do that too.

Returning the second day, attendees looked for another piece of candy. Word was out about the cd, DVD, lesson plans and or course the famous CANDY.

What an experience, and we look back at the opportunity to share our roots with others. We truly need to thank each and everyone of you who supported us financially, and emotionally for following through a rigorous project that we had never done before.

We were proud to be Polish, to engage in meaningful conversation and make a difference in the lives of thought leaders in the community and schools. We did make an impact upon those who can and will influence generations to come.

List of our supporters

Next year's event will take place in Washington DC December 2-4, 2011.
You are most welcome to join us and tell your story, share your Polish Culture.

To assist our mission and to "Keep Our Heritage Alive", please make checks payable to ACPC/NCSS and mail to:

Cecilia and Raymond Glembocki
ACPC NCSS (National Conference for Social Studies)
911 Saddleback Court
McLean, Virginia 22102-1317

tel: 703 790-1984, cell: 703 501 6152

Donations are tax deductible to the extent of the law. Thank you!

Photographs from the Conference

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1. Ray Glembocki -- All the boxes arrived -- we're ready to unpack for the 4,000 teachers, librarians, curriculum specialists

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2. Books donated by----,----- will get you the names of the companies later today Barbara will supply me with the correct donors.

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3. Books donated by----,-------

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4. OUT

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7. Cecilia Glembocki Debbie Majka ready for the attendees

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11. Cecilia and Raymond Glembocki New chairpersons for the Exhibit

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12. Cecilia Glembocki Jason Franzen of Minn. MN, Debbie Majka, Ray Glembocki

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13. Working with history teachers and giving out the coreect information.

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15. Ray helping a curriculum specialist

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16. Jason involves teachers in a meaningful discussion

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17. Cecilia and Jason remembering Padwercski (?) and handing out work books for teachers.

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18. Debbie Majka with Solardity Poster- A huge success with teachers

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19. A prime location selected by Barbara Lemecha in 2009