On June 20-22, 2016, six English language teachers from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – the selected tutors of the Baltic States “Teaching Tolerance Through English” Camp Lithuania 2016 – attended a preparatory workshop in Vilnius. Anna Polistsuk (Kohtla-Järve Kesklinna Põhikool) and Anne-Liisi Laaneste (Maidla Kool, Ida-Virumaa) from Estonia,  Anita Muižniece (Daugmale Elementary School) and Silva Aušte (Karku Elementary School, Karki Village, Valkas District) from Latvia,  Margarita Gudeikienė (Rokiškis Juozas Tumas Vaižgantas Gymnasium) and Neringa Šakinienė (Lentvaris Motiejus Šimelionis Gymnasium) from Lithuania met with the Tolerance Camp organizers – U.S. Embassy Lithuania and the Board of LAKMA (Lithuanian Association of English Language Teachers). The aim of the workshop was to prepare for the Tolerance Camp in July to be held in Dvarčėnų dvaras, Alytus region, Lithuania, which will be attended by 30 teenagers from the 3 Baltic States. 

The workshop was held in the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences, which is an active partner of the U.S. Embassy and the LAKMA Association. The university highly values the benefits of such cooperation as the students are offered great opportunities to participate in various educational projects. This time Orestas Kornejevas and Armantas Stankevičius, students of English Philology, will be able to act as Camp Volunteers and assist the tutors in organizing the camp activities.

The U.S. Embassy Assistant Public Affairs Officer Althea Cawley-Murphree and LAKMA president Eglė Petronienė welcomed the future camp tutors and expressed their appreciation of teacher willingness to participate in the project. The U.S. Government program Alumni Coordinator Inga Sidrys emphasized the importance of tolerance education in contemporary society. The U.S. Embassy Resource Center Director Aleksandras Balčiūnas gave a training session on the use of social media for educational and promotional purposes.

During the three days, under the supervision of LAKMA Board member and teacher trainer Nida Burneikaitė, the workshop participants developed the conceptual framework for the camp program. The tutors shared their ideas and best practices of teaching young teenagers, discussed what educational resources would be appropriate to meet the purposes of the camp and compiled a bank of activities to be offered to the students in July.

The 30 teenage students from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will have a really enjoyable experience!