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National Conference for the Social Studies
December 2-3, 2016

Polish Perspectives Exhibit

Washington, DC

Walter E. Washington Convention Center

report by:
Cecilia and Raymond Glembocki

The 96th National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) conference was held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington DC, on December 2-3, 2016. This was the 17th year that the American Council for Polish Culture (ACPC) attended and exhibited.

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1. The theme of this year's conference was: "Civic Learning and Cultural Inquiry in a Changing World."

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2. The 2017 conference for NCSS will be held in San Francisco, California.

Members attending were Cecilia and Raymond Glembocki - chairman of the exhibit, Debbie Majka - Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland, Southeastern PA; Bozenna Buda Ortins - President of the Friends of John Paul II, Washington - DC Chapter; Tom Payne - President of the American Council for Polish Culture (ACPC); Jeanet Beane - member of the ACPC Board of Directors and Matthew Stefanski from the Embassy of the Republic of Poland.

The Polish Perspectives Exhibit booth was in the International section of the exhibit area. There were 4,023 educators registered, 220 sponsored exhibitors and 550 educational sessions.

Description of booth #428 as on the program:

Polish Perspectives exhibit is designed and sponsored by the American Council for Polish Culture. The goal of inspiring educators to examine Polish contributions to western civilization. The materials provided will send the teachers on a journey of exploring, understanding and appreciating Poles' historical values. There are books, lesson plans, posters, brochures, book marks and other resources that are designed to enhance an understanding of Poland's participation in the world historical landmarks.

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3. History

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4. Cuisine

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5. Customs

The booth had three colorful panels describing The Polish American History, Traditions and Cuisine. These panels were designed by Carla Tomaszewski, a Maryland Heritage Artist certified in Polish Culture, History and Traditions.

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6. Side view of the Polish Perspectives Booth

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7. Polish confections and the leaflet "Myths and Facts about Poland"

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8. Background panel of Polish-American History

The tables were filled with Polish confections, educational materials, focusing on the country of Poland with maps and books and flags and a children's book about traditions and customs. The Embassy of the Republic of Poland sponsored maps, flags and books about Poland. The children's book Poland: A Portrait of the Country Through Its Festivals and Traditions was designed specifically to "Keep the Polish Heritage Alive." Cecilia Glembocki was the director of this project. The Polish American Arts Association (PAAA) of Washington, DC, sponsor of the project and it was funded by the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Poland, individuals and through the PAAA. There were 980 copies printed and sold in a period of eight months to various Polish American Schools, parents, educators, and Polish groups throughout the country.

Due to its success, a second edition is planned that will include not 32 pages of colorfully illustrated customs and traditions but with 52 pages in total to incorporate more child friendly and doable projects for elementary schools. Funding will be done through the grant process of the Foreign Ministry of Poland, PAAA and various individuals. Social media as Face book sends reports as to its viewing audiences who have reviewed the children's book. More social interaction will be investigated to reach a broader audience. The book was shown during the largest book exposition in Chicago by Terry Tegnazian of Aquila Polonia publishers.

There were 300 CDs distributed during the conference. These CDs were developed and designed by Raymond Glembocki filled with a historical perspective on notable Poles throughout history and currently in the news. The CDs contained 46 posters of famous Poles who made contributions to Polish History and in the world. Also, there are more current notable Poles making a mark in the United States, as television personalities, sports figures, congressman, painters, physicians, astronauts, religious leaders etc. Focus groups and professional oversight made these posters invaluable.

The focus of the booth was the arrival of Poles in Jamestown Colony in 1608 and the first civil rights action for the Poles right to vote in 1619. Since all children receive American History instruction in the 4th grade, these facts were important to convey. In 2019, the exhibit will feature the first work stoppage in Jamestown, initiated by Polish workers for their right to vote in 1619.

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9. Cecilia Glembocki with two teachers from Washington, DC

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10. Dr. Chowen from Bringham Young University and Kenneth DeMasi from the Arizona Graphic Alliance visited with Ray Glembocki

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11. Natacha Scott from the Boston Public Schools, Stonham, MA, and Debbie Majka

Teachers were amazed to learn new facts of Jamestown and how the industrious Poles created the first business in the new America. They were selected by John Smith who sought them out from other European groups because of their work ethics and industrious nature. The colony prospered from their skills in glassmaking and establishing potash, tar and pitch to build housing for the colonists. Contacts were made with a publishing company Gallopade and Carole Marsh who has already developed series of children's books about Jamestown. Working cooperatively with Ms. March will enable us to include two important pages in those history books as the Poles were first craftsmen in the colony in 1608 and that the first work stoppage for the right to vote was the first civil unrest in our new America in 1619.

Featured in the exhibit was the Year of Jan Karski and the Canonization of Pope Saint John Paul II. A newly developed lesson plan about Jan Karski was placed on the American Council for Polish Culture website. A Karski lesson plan was developed by Johnathan Willis from the Department of Education in Maryland and was approved by the Educational Institute of Jan Karski in Florida. This is also included on the web site.

Poles such as Matt Urban, Pulaski, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, Madame Curie and Copernicus were featured with posters, bookmarks. This display created an interest for all educators. Joanne Gilbert sent five books on Woman of Valor: Polish Resisters to the Third Reich.

The second table exhibit focused on the holocaust, WWII, Polish history, and John Paul II. The Friends of the John Paul II Foundation, Washington DC Chapter, supplied the exhibit with Educational CD's, "Nine Days that Changed the World" and the "Canonization and Divine Mercy."

Aquila Polonica, a publishing firm donates books each year that are free gifts for all teachers. Three hard cover versions of the following books were donated: The Mermaid and the Messerschmitt, War though a Woman's Eyes 1939-1940, The Ice Road: An epic Journey from Stalinist Labor Camps to Freedom, 303 Squadron: The Legendary Volunteer: Beyond Bravery, and Echoes of Tattered tongues: Memory Unfolded, 6 handovers of the Color of Courage a Boy at War: Diary of Julian Kulski, 30 copies of The Educators Guide for the Color of Courage, correlated to Common Core Standards, one paperback of Maps and Shadows, Three Siege DVDs 2 copies of the current catalogue, 50 copies of a small gray flyer listing all titles, 50 flyers for the newest book Echoes of Tattered Tongues: Memory Unfolded. Bookmarks were also provided. Professors return to comment on how they used these books in their course of studies. Additional books as Woman of Valor, Irena Sendler's book Life in a Jar, Rutkas Notebook - the Polish Anne Frank diary of a young girl in a concentration camp and the Jan Karski Secret State books are on display and available for those educators who teach these areas of study. The Jan Karski books, educational lesson plans and a teaching video was purchased from Jan Karski Educational Institute in Florida. The Jan Karski graphic novel was a very popular teaching tool for educators. "For Your Freedom and Ours" leaflet was a publication most requested. The Banner - October is Polish Heritage Month, Jan Karski and the Szyk graphic art work of the Jamestown's craftsmen were colorful and delighted all teachers.

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12. Cecilia Glembocki with Matthew Stefanski from the Polish Embassy. October is Polish Heritage month

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13. Sandra Makielski, Davisville Middle School Wakefied, RI, with Bozena Buda, President of the Friends of John Paul II, Washington - DC Chapter

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14. Honorary RP Consul Debbie Majka and Tom Payne - President of the ACPC

A Polish coin, featured on a poster, commemorating the 400th Anniversary of Polish Settlement in North America was awarded the prize for the most technically advanced silver coin at the 26th mint directors conference held in Canberra, Australia. It won the prize from others coins from all over the world in this category. It was designed by Mr. Robert Kotowicz, medalist. The coin was granted this award by the most prestigious panel of mint directors from all over the world which makes it the best coin in the world in this category. In the center of coin, as a tribute to Jamestown's Polish glassblowers, there is a glass core with a stylized image of a man blowing glassware. On the reverse, at both sides of the core there are stylized images of men making glass. Above the core there is a ship with newly arrived settlers. On the obverse of the ring were placed fragment of a stylized map of Virginia as well as images of settlers and Indians. This coin was mass produced by the National Bank of Poland on December 17, 2008.

There were 300 CDs distributed to educators along with posters, books, bookmarks and polish confectioners. A musical CD of Jaroslaw Golembiowski's original musical masterpieces was donated to the NCSS auction.

There were many curriculum specialists who enjoyed our posters for use in their media center. The web site was used a reference point for all educators who wanted to know more about scholarships, events and lesson plans. The leaflet "Myths and Facts of Poles and Poland" was well received. Several teachers asked about study tours to Poland. Many elementary teachers were looking for coloring pages and craft ideas. These items will be covered in the second edition of the Poland book.

After completing a successful conference, plans are being made to work more cooperatively with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland and develop and assist in promoting significant dates in the history of the United States and Poland.

The year of 2017, Poland will celebrate that year by marking the independence of Poland. Contact was made with the Wilson Presidential Institute in Staunton, Virginia, the birthplace of President Wilson to celebrate the 14-point plan to include Poland as a country. Lesson plans will be developed with an educational specialist who will emphasize the significance of Paderewski working with President Wilson and establishing Poland as an independent country. The Syzk graphic design depicting President Wilson and Paderewski poster will be distributed along with lesson plans for the next conference.

In the year 2019 plans are being made to commemorate the very first work stoppage in American by the Poles. The Polish craftsman had a work stoppage or a civil unrest as a result of wanting the right to vote in the new colony. Various contacts are being made to make this a significant part of American History. There is currently a grant available from the American Council for Polish Culture to research this topic more thoroughly for the year 2017-2018.

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15. Books featured in the "Polish Perspectives" Booth

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16. Jeanet Beane - ACPC Board of Directors at the display of literature

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17. Ray and Debbie with Peter Obst's translation of a book about Ralph Modjeski, America's Bridge Builder

Since there is a National History Day project throughout the United States encouraging students to participate in historical events of our country, the American Council for Polish Culture has inquired into participating in this national history project. Last year, there were 19 entries that included a historical Polish event or Polish person. The Council will be working cooperatively with this group to establish a recognition of student's efforts on writing about Poles or events that changed history because of an event in Poland or about Poland. The Friends of the John Paul II Foundation will also inquire as to promotion of interest in a world leader and statesman of St. John Paul II.

The American Council for Polish Culture has complete reports of all conferences. The ACPC web site has them listed under events. All past ACPC NCSS Polish Perspective events are in the archives section for review.

A grant of $500 was received from the Friends of the John Paul II Foundation in Washington DC to continue to distribute the DVD "Nine Days that Changed the World," the "Canonization of John Paul II - Divine Mercy," posters and bookmarks of St. John Paul II to all interested educators. The grant funds were used to help with booth costs and reproduction of materials specific to St. John Paul II.

Various affiliates from the American Council for Polish Culture contributed on behalf of their chapters throughout the United States to help with the cost of the exhibit. There are 16 affiliates and 9 supporting organizations and 2 complimentary organizations that comprise the organization of American Council for Polish Culture.

The Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Poland has generously contributed to the costs of this exhibit.

Contacts that were made will be valuable for future activities of the Polish Perspectives booth. National History Day, Gallopade Publishing and Printing Company, Wilson Institute in Staunton, Virginia and the Jefferson Monticello exhibit.

The Polish Perspectives committee will be soliciting funds to exhibit at the 2017 National Conference for Social Studies which will be in Washington, DC. Support for this project will continue promoting Polish Culture, Traditions, Customs, Historical Facts, Myths and Facts about Poles and Poland. Teachers return to our booth for information about Poland since many of these educators visit or will be visiting Poland.

The future schedule for National Council for the Social Studies will be in the following locations:
2017 San Francisco, California November 17-18
2018 Chicago, Illinois November 30-Dec. 2
2019 Washington DC 100th Anniversary

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The Program Directory has our booth listed in the International Alley section.

This exhibit is designed and sponsored by the American Council for Polish Culture with the goal of inspiring educators to examine Polish contributions to the western civilization. The materials provided will send you on a journey of exploring, understanding and appreciating their historical value. There are lesson plans, posters, brochures and other resources designed to enhance educators' understanding of Poland's participation in these landmark events.

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

Next year's event will take place in San Francisco, California - November 17-18, 2017
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!