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In partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, Duke University’s CSEEES and UNC’s Bull’s Head Bookshop, CSEEES completed a book-mailing project to all public and federally funded middle schools in North Carolina in an effort to spread the Russian language to students of North Carolina in order to spark an interest in the country and its culture.

A total of 698 schools received copies of Usborne’s First Thousand Words in Russian, an interactive picture dictionary with an internet-linked pronunciation guide. The U.S. Department of Education will feature this project among its best practices for international education activities.

Dr. Jacqueline Olich, who directed the project with Department Manager Karla Nagy, said the chief aims were two-fold: to promote awareness and interest in Russian language among North Carolina students and to make administrators and media resource specialists in every county aware of the Center and its resources.“The response has been gratifying,” Olich said. “One librarian who had adopted a child from Russia wrote to thank us and ask where she and her child could formally study Russian language. Another media resource specialist wrote to say that her school had a copy of the Spanish version that was so popular, it was threadbare; they didn’t have the funds to buy additional books in the series.”This effort was funded by the U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center, with support from Duke University’s CSEEES, the Bull’s Head Bookshop and UNC’s World View International Program for Educators.The Center is working on its next large-scale outreach project, a Google Lit Trip for Gloria Whelan’s Angel on the Square, a young adult novel set in Revolution-era St. Petersburg. University Gazette Article.