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National Conference for the Social Studies
November 21-23, 2014

Polish Perspectives Exhibit

Boston, Massachusetts

Hynes Convention Center

report by:
Cecilia and Raymond Glembocki, Jason Franzen

For the 16th year, the American Council for Polish Culture contributed the "Polish Perspectives" exhibit at the National Council for Social Studies Annual Conference in Boston, Mass. Cecilia and Raymond Glembocki (see bio sketch) had the opportunity as exhibit chairpersons to exhibit at the Hynes Convention Center. For two full days, 4,367 educators attended this conference with more than 11 aisles of exhibitors numbering 200 exhibitors. This attendance number was a record breaking year for the NCSS conference. We had five people representing the Polish Perspectives exhibit: Honorary Polish Consul from the Philadelphia area Debbie Majka (see bio sketch), Dr. Andrej Pronczuk (see bio sketch) from the ACPC Boston Affiliate and the editor of the Kurier Polski of Minnesota Jason Franzen (see bio sketch). We featured notable Poles -- St. John Paul II and his canonization, Jan Karski, Matt Urban, Irena Sendler and Jamestown's Virginia's famous Poles.

Posters exhibited at the booth were designed by Carla Tomaszewski of Maryland. She has her own graphic design business trading under the name of: Poppyfield Press (www.poppyfieldpress.com).

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1. Jan Karski poster

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2. Our ACPC booth

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3. John Paul II poster

Aquila Polonica's (access this publisher's web page) president, Terry Tegnazian sent a number of books: "The Mermaid and the Messerschmitt", "The Ice Road", "303 Squadron", "The Auschwitz Volunteer-Captain Pilecki" and "The Color of Courage". These educators who were interested in these books thought they received the best gift ever in the entire convention. Lists were compiled of all those teachers who took books, CD, DVD's and reference books. More than 275 CD's featuring historical facts and lesson plans were distributed. The CD was updated to include all of our posters, banners and some craft ideas for elementary school teachers. Catholic schools were given the DVDs of "Nine Days that Changed the World" along with book marks.

Jan Karski (his life story) was a featured Pole in this year's booth. Books and CD's from the Jan Karski Educational Institute were sent and distributed. The Jan Karski Institute of Tolerance and Dialogue supplied our exhibit with 50 graphic novel-comic books that were beautifully illustrated. (see this exciting comic book)

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4. Books from Aquila Polonica

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5. Jason Franzen, Ray Glembocki, Debbie Majka at desk

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6. Polish dolls and "pisanki"

The teachers loved the Jamestown exhibit as they all teach about Jamestown (Poles in Jamestown history) in their American History classes. They were pleasantly surprised to learn of the Poles industrious skills to keep the British colony alive in America. As well as learning of the first labor strike in the Americas... More than 800 Bookmarks concerning Jamestown were distributed to educators. These were donated by Dr. Pronczuk of Boston. Dr. Andrei Pronczuk is an Engineer by training and is the head of the local chapter of ACPC in Boston. He was a knowledgeable and friendly addition to the public face of ACPC for the NCSS conventions.

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7. Monte Casino Game

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8. The booth and posters

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9. Candies from Poland

Teachers were thrilled to receive a copy of the educational board game The Battle of Monte Cassino. Jason Franzen was instrumental in his historical research, and Consultant work with the Polish National Archives to produce these games. This is the fourth educational game he has done consulting work on. Mr. Franzen is a History Teacher, and is a writer for the Kurier Polski newspaper. He has broad and deep knowledge of Polish, Polish-American History that was of interest to the educators. In addition about 100 articles written by Mr. Franzen concerning the role of Captain Pilecki "The Auschwitz Volunteer" were also distributed.

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10. Teachers with Ray Glembocki

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11. Cecilia Glembocki, Msgr. Anthony Czarnecki, and Debbie Majka

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12. Visiting teacher and Jason Franzen

Matt Urban (see biographical sketch) a distinguished Medal of Honor recipient and now listed as one of the notable graves in Arlington National Cemetery was noted at the exhibit with a poster. Teresa Wojcik. Ph.D. associate professor and teacher educator at Villanova University left her pamphlet concerning teaching English to students in Poland. Dr. Mary Kay Pieski Ph.D. Director of the Kosciuszko Foundation's Teaching English in Poland information. Manny Haidous, Director of Educational Sales at "Cricket" shared two books for elementary age children about Poland and the Culture of Poland. This will certainly is useful in developing our "Keep Your Polish Heritage Alive" book proposal.

Contact was also made with Jen Seewagen of Scholastic Magazine. Since we of the Exhibit Committee were in the process of seeking permission to reprint the children's book titled Poland-(Fiesta!), it was timely to encounter her. This series of books is now out of print and we wanted to design our own book based upon this popular children's book. The idea of a reprint of this popular edition fascinated the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Poland and they strongly suggested that we apply for a grant to reprint 1,000 copies of this children's book that dealt with culture, religion, customs, holidays and the country's geographic facts. Research was conducted to track the copyright laws and reprinting feasibility.

Debbie Majka made an excellent contact with a curriculum specialist who will work with Debbie on disputing, and correcting the controversial material in the acclaimed "Maus" historical comic book. (see a commentary on this subject) New avenues were discussed for confronting the distortions of Poland in the telling of Holocaust History.

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13. Souvenirs from Jamestown

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14. Cecilia Glembocki presents the information CD

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15. The truth about Auschwitz

It was an exhilarating experience for all of us to be there at this conference. To be able to share and enlighten educators on some simple facts and yet more unknown facts made a significant impact upon our audience. The expert knowledge of Polish History was evident in our historical staffers in the booth. Educators were thrilled to receive books, articles, sundry educational materials as well as lesson plans on CD's, plus inspiring DVD's, and graphic novels.

We look forward to 2015 when the conference will be in New Orleans, LA.

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16. Jason Franzen and a visitor

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17. Debbie Majka presents information

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18. Debbie Majka at the desk

Raymond and Cecilia Glembocki -- NCSS Co-Chairs, ACPC

The next conference will take place in New Orleans, LA, November 13-15, 2015
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 e-mail: virginiaegg@cox.net
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!

A letter from Dr. Andrzej Pronczuk

TO: Mary Ellen Tyszka, President of American Council for Polish Culture

Dear Mary Ellen,

It was a great pleasure and learning experience for me to participate in the presentation of the "Polish Prospective" booth at the 94th NCSS Conference which was held in Boston on November 21-23.

On behalf of the Polish Cultural Foundation, I was happy to provide additional materials (books, bookmarks, posters, Polish candies) to the already very well supplied ACPC booth.

I was impressed to see that so many (from over 4,000) conference participants visited the Polish booth and were interested in including some of the obtained materials in their future teachings. 

One of the signs of the popularity of the ACPC booth was the fact that at some point, all 5 of us (Mr. & Mrs. Glembocki, Debbie Majka, Jason Franzen, and myself) were all very busy taking care of the booth visitors.  Another example was also the fact that on the first day of the Conference, some of the materials such as DVD movies, some books, posters, bookmarks quickly disappeared from the table along with 10 lbs of Polish candy "Krowki" (Polish fudge).

I would like to congratulate ACPC and its NCSS Committee co-chairs, Cecilia and Reymond Glebocki for their outstanding job in preparing and running such a successful and beneficial "Polish Prospective" presentation.

Dr. Andrzej Pronczuk
President, Polish Cultural Foundation

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19. Jason Franzen and Dr. Andrzej Pronczuk

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20. Ray Glembocki at the booth

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21. Dr. Andrzej Pronczuk at the conference