MPUE President Report 2018-19
Who is MPUE?
MPUE is dedicated to the promotion, enhancement and expansion of the English-Ukrainian Bilingual Program (EUBP) in Manitoba. MPUE is the umbrella organization which provides support for the parent organizations associated with each of the 12 schools providing the English-Ukrainian Bilingual Program.
The parent committees continue to support the EUBP program schools and the activities held within them.
The number of active parents from the schools has remained about the same with new faces joining and some moving on to other things. We do see consistent commitment with the number of volunteers at meetings and events. It is important for representatives from all schools to participate so the parents are all informed of the opportunities for their children. We can always find a way to include all schools participation, for example we welcome ongoing participation from Dauphin schools via phone or Skype. Some events that require additional volunteers, such as volunteering for the Santa Parade, Ukrainian Day and Folklorama are also ways parents can help out without an ongoing commitment. We welcome all and any assistance that you can offer. Thank you to all those who volunteer, we really appreciate it.
Besides working with the school parent committees our other goal is working with the schools to enhance the learning experience of the children through inter-school activities, focused on what is needed to reinforce the curriculum learning. We continue to work to ensure we have open communication with school administration and teachers so we understand the needs of the schools.
Another aspect of MPUE is the opportunity for us to represent all EUBP schools at Manitoba Education, and Training (MET). This provides opportunities for resource development for our classrooms.
The Osvita Foundation is the fundraising arm of the organization. Osvita organizes an annual testimonial banquet to recognize and honor a member of the Ukrainian Community for their contributions. The 2018 Honorees were Irka Balan and Valentina Noseworthy for their work in communicating the story and teachings of the Holodomor – Ukraine’s Famine/ Genocide. The 2019 Banquet coincided with the 40th Anniversary of the English Ukrainian Bilingual Program in Manitoba and the National Conference for Ukrainian Educators – hosted by Manitoba for the first time. In light of both of these events the Osvita Foundation used the opportunity to honour 40 years of former and current Teachers of the English- Ukrainian Bilingual Program and the banquet was held at Canadian Museum for Human Rights. This event also provides an opportunity to showcase the artwork and talents of our EUBP students, with each school taking a turn to perform, Springfield Heights School and Chief Peguis Junior High students provided the entertainment this year.
We thank Osvita for the annual funding that they provide to our organization to sustain MPUE`s operations and support EUBP program promotion and expansion efforts.
Dzvin Publishers is a publishing company dedicated to creating and expanding resources available to the English Ukrainian Bilingual Program. The organization sells books, CD`s and other resources online. This side of the organization is always looking for ideas to pursue for development.
This year MPUE received a Summer Student Grant from Service Canada to hire a Community Liaison and Special Events Coordinator for 8 weeks of summer employment. Erin Rogowsky was the successful applicant and was responsible for organizing our office resources and communicating with the public. She planned our children’s craft activity area for our special summer events, coordinated the volunteer schedule, created the craft and prepared all the materials for the “Ukrainian Flag made with Beads” craft and set up and dismantle of the Taras Shevchenko banners and school displays. Thank you, Erin for your great work this summer and we wish you luck as you enter into your first year of University. We are so pleased to see the success of an EUBP graduate.
Our office space is located upstairs in unit 200 at 1215 Henderson Highway. We are accessed by the door to the business centre and while the MPUE office is not staffed on a regular basis the business centre receptionists (Nanci or Glynnis) are available during the day between 9:00 and 4:30 – so drop off or pick up of materials can be arranged in advance.
MPUE board meetings occur in the boardroom at this office location one evening per month during the school year (excluding December) and typically the 4th Monday of the Month.
Communication, Marketing and Recruitment
MPUE has been focused on our digital communication with the parent membership of MPUE this past year. mpue.ca provides information in both English and Ukrainian. Our goals for our website is to improve communication and information, provide services to our parents in both languages as well to the community at large. We would like to see it become a central location for people coming into Canada with children to use as a resource. MPUE has received a grant from the Winnipeg Foundation to upgrade our website, so a new look is coming soon. We have maintained regular email contact with families using MailChimp to ensure everyone is aware of opportunities and events that are coming up within the EUBP and local Ukrainian Community. Our facebook page www.facebook.com/mpue.ca/ is used to let a wider audience know about news related to the program and we have now added Instagram to our social media outreach efforts – @eubpmb
Funds granted from the Osvita Foundation are used to continue to brand the program including our logo which is used consistently on our website, newsletters, all correspondence and advertising for and by MPUE. One of our goals is to promote the logo and brand around the province with the assistance of each of the parent groups so the EUBP awareness is increased. While we feel we have made great progress in sharing the availability of the EUBP, there are many people who still do not know about the various schools offering the program throughout the province. Many school parent groups have been communicating with the local churches and nursery schools to advise parents of the program, and we have found the great success in enrollment when the school administration has been supportive and lets all families know about the benefits of the EUBP for children`s language development.
As a recruitment strategy, we have created a database of nursery/preschools and child care centres with whom we can send information on our program prior to school Kindergarten enrolment dates. MPUE participates in any language program sessions we are invited to within the various school divisions. If there are ones in your school division let us know.
Significant advertising has been ongoing which has included placing ads in a number of local print publications: the Folklorama guide, Dauphin’s National Ukrainian Festival Guide, Ukrainian Winnipeg magazine, and at various Ukrainian functions and concert programs. We continue to explore alternate ways of advertising such as using free or low-cost means of advertising (social and traditional media via news articles) have been the focus of our advertising energy to date. Folklorama was an excellent example, where social media posts encouraging families to visit us at the Kyiv Pavillion had many “like and shares”. Our Instagram account currently has 183 followers.
MPUE has received support from Petrusia Perogy (the famous dancing perogy mascot) to promote the program at some of the schools, at the Santa Claus Parade along with the Snow Queen Float.
‘Word of Mouth’ has been one of the most successful ways we have been able to promote the program over the years. These opportunities to connect directly with families take place when we participate in Folklorama, Winnipeg Parent Family Fun Fair, Ukrainian Day, and we continue to seek more community events like this. We continue community based promotion through display of our 200th Anniversary of Taras Shevchenko Banners. The EUBP Student art project has been displayed at Carpathia Credit Union Branches and other public locations, such as Prairie Theatre Exchange and community multi-cultural events around the Province. These events have increased our visibility within the Ukrainian community and created connections with the various organizations who assist us with promoting the program to those within the province as well as those newcomers moving into the province. We feel we have been successful as we are receiving numerous calls requesting MPUE and our schools to partake in more activities.
We are also would like to increase communications with Alberta and Saskatchewan and nation-wide with Ukrainian Congresses and Education and Slavic study departments to discuss opportunities and options
MPUE has the following items in stock for use by all the schools: Bilingual Brochures, Flyers, balloons, crayon mini packs, pens, and alphabet cards. We also have sets of cards available for sale of the Taras Shevchenko art Project. We are always open to suggestions for other ways and items we can use to promote the program, so please let us know.
Professional Development for Teachers
Some of our strongest resources are our wonderful teachers, with some who have been teaching almost as long as the EUBP began 40 years ago. We work with the various schools and the province to ensure a provincial Ukrainian language PD day occurs each year. This year was a very special year, as Manitoba hosted the National Conference for Ukrainian Educators (NCUE) for the first time. The 2019 NCUE is a collaborative effort between the following organizations: Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) – National Ukrainian Education Council; Ukrainian Canadian Council (UCC) – Manitoba Provincial; Manitoba Parents for Ukrainian Education – representing the 12 English-Ukrainian Bilingual Schools across Manitoba; Ukrainian National Federation School Initiatives Committee; Immaculate Heart of Mary School; Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral Ridna Shkola; Chytalnia “Prosvita” Ukrainian School – Ridna Shkola of St. Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral; The Ukrainian United School in Morden. The committee was led by Co-chairs Nancy Lovenjak and Susan Zuk. The conference was held at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights from May 23 to 25, 2019. The workshops included over 30 presenters and keynote speakers from Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Edmonton Vegreville and Lviv Ukraine.
Our annual principal session was held January 14, 2019 where we had a session filled with sharing of what has been occurring at each of the schools, thoughts on development of future Ukrainian Teachers; ideas for ways to engage with families/ parent volunteers; examples of promotion and strengthening of the EUBP in individual communities and ideas for inter-school shared opportunities (pen pals, skype, other language prog., transportation). MPUE provided the administrators a sneak peek at 40th year of the EUBP Documentary. This year we held this event at the Oseredok Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre – thank you to Julia Zmerzla for sharing with us what programming may be of interest to EUBP schools as well as a chance for EUBP administration to share thoughts from EUBP teachers of partnership ideas.
Special Family Events, Student Events and Field Trips
Santa Claus Parade
We participated for the 11th year in the Santa Claus Parade. We were fortunate to obtain some funding from Carpathia Credit Union to support this endeavor. This is an excellent opportunity for our children to be part of a wonderful Winnipeg tradition while promoting the EUBP. Approximately 57 children and parents participated – walking alongside the Snow Queen Float. Three children have opportunity to be on the float and these spots are prioritized for the children of MPUE board members, as a small recognition for the many hours of volunteer work they put into this organization. This year the Snow Queen was Carissa Burak, with Daniel Monita and Maya Krawchuk seated on the float as the children. During this year’s parade the float made contact with an overhanging tree branch and suffered some damage. MPUE is seeking a committee of volunteers to take over and rebuild the float, so future EUBP children can participate and enjoy this magical event.
Grade 4 Multicultural and Leo Mol Gardens Field Trip
Held on May 17, 2019 grade 4 students visited the Leo Mol Gardens and were hosted by Mario Audino at the Caboto Italian Cultural Centre to learn all about Italian culture. The tour and program prepared for approximately 84 students, teachers and parent chaperones, was filled with a number of exciting and educational activity stations including: hands-on learn to play bocce, learning 2-3 Italian songs and Italian food.
Grade 5 Fieldtrip to the Manitoba Legislature
The fieldtrip to the legislative building for our grade 5 students ties in with their curriculum studies. This event was held October 30, 2018 and 96 students, teachers and parent participants had an opportunity to learn about our Provincial Government and how the Legislature works. As part of the day there is a scavenger hunt to learn more about the building and the grounds – where students can find 3 Ukrainian statues commemorating: Taras Shevchenko, Holodomor and Ukrainian Internment. The students met leaders of Ukrainian descent when they visited Minister Ron Schuler’s office and were also greeted by Minister Cathy Cox, MLA Blair Yakimoski and MLA Andrew Micklefield. There was also a special Holodomor Memorial Ceremony with words from children of survivors – Valentina Noseworthy and Irka Balan.
Grade 6 Language and Culture Camp
Held April 29 to May 1, 2019 was an excellent camp at St. Andrews College, with 42 students participating in a language and cultural learning experience and building friendships between the students of the various schools. Ukrainian and other cultures are focused on during this 3-day event. This is also a unique opportunity to introduce children to the University of Manitoba campus and possibilities offered by different faculties. Students experience new physical activities such as rock climbing and archery, visit various faculties including entomology, architecture, and science; participate in cultural programming with Brazilian Martial arts, Aboriginal drumming and storytelling, Ukrainian arts, music and dance. Thank you to the teachers for helping and supporting this event.
Grade 7 Human Rights: Holodomor and the Indigenous Experience
On April 11, 2019 – 27 EUBP middle years students gathered at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to participate in Holodomor educational program. The students were divided into two groups where each group participated in a 60 minute interactive program about the Holodomor Genocide. The afternoon included programming in partnership with Parks Canada Interpreters with a discovery tour of the Forks Historic Site to learn about the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada in this meeting place of Manitoba.
Grade 8 Venture to Vegreville
Held May 28-31, 2019 this 16th annual trip was organized by MPUE. As a way to celebrate their graduation from the EUBP, students and chaperones get on a charter bus and travel across the Provinces to visit Vegreville, Alberta – the Ukrainian heritage village, Ukrainian pioneer sites of interest along the way. This year the trip included a stop in Saskatoon for a visit to Ukrainian sites in that city. The students make wonderful friendships; learn about Ukrainian heritage across the Prairies; and experience being Ukrainian from a different vantage point as this graduating year trip is also the culmination of their time spent in the EUBP.
Taras Shevchenko Art Project in Celebration of 200 Years since His Birth
In 2013-14 school year in recognition and celebration of 200 years since Shevchenko’s birth MPUE engaged 5 local Artists to lead an art project that spanned all grade levels throughout the 12 EUBP schools in Manitoba. Students worked under the guidance of the commissioned artists and created a child’s interpretation of Taras Shevchenko’s significant contributions to Ukrainian cultural identity, based on the following themes: Kindergarten to Grade 2 – Where Taras Shevchenko Lived; Grade 3-5 or 6 – Celebration of Taras Shevchenko’s Works; Grade 6 to 8 – What Taras Shevchenko Stood For
The children’s art work was combined into a traveling exhibit that has been displayed at each of the EUBP schools, at the Osvita Banquet, Dauphin Festival, Folklorama and other Manitoba venues along with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Heritage Exhibit. This successful project has received much praise and compliments and in September 2015 the project was recognized with an International Award- presented by the Ukrainian World Congress at their Annual Meeting in Madrid Spain. The six panels have been made into a set of art cards available for purchase for $5.00 a set as a fundraiser for the EUBP promotion.
MPUE shared this success in presentations to various school boards over the 2015-16 school year.
Special Project – 125 Years of Ukrainians in Canada
In the 2016-17 school year, MPUE worked collaboratively with Oseredok Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre to review, document and categorize historical records related to the establishment of the English-Ukrainian Bilingual Program and the formation of Manitoba Parents for Ukrainian Education. With support from the Province of Manitoba Heritage Grant, The Shevchenko Foundation and the Wasyl Topolnicky Foundation, the project – Preserving the Legacy of the English Ukrainian Bilingual Program was completed. These records are now available for anyone to access at Oseredok. A special acknowledgement goes out Sophia Kachor, Executive Director at Oseredok and Holly McElrea, Archivist, for all of their hard work in seeing this project to completion.
40th Anniversary EUBP Documentary Project
MPUE partnered with two students from the Seven Oaks Met School, to have a documentary produced highlighting the EUBP. Two student Alon Denesiuk (grade 12) and Ashley Radlinsky (grade 11) with guidance from their teacher captured video and photos by attending various events and programming organized by MPUE. While Alon was not able to continue on the project after December 2017, Ashley continued to capture photos of EUBP events and has compiled a photo book of the year. MPUE was fortunate to receive another position through the Summer Student Grant from Service Canada for a Documentary Project Coordinator for 14 weeks. Miranda Moroz is a University of Winnipeg Film Studies student entering her 4th year of studies and she was hired to help us complete the EUBP documentary project. The documentary highlights our unique and special EUBP program and will be used as a promotional tool to highlight the EUBP. The documentary was introduced at the Osvita Banquet during the May 2019 National Ukrainian Teachers Conference with a 5 minute clip screened, which was well received by all in attendance.
There have been many local school events and multi school community-building events as follows:
- Folklorama Kyiv Pavilion. We are fortunate to be able to have a booth to promote the program at this wonderful event. Reps from a number of schools took turns manning the children`s activity area and assisted in helping children make crafts during this week.
- Welcome BBQs, Easter Breakfasts, Malanka Celebrations and Christmas events at all EUBP schools
- Koliyada for all 3 RETSD schools
- Year End graduation and EUBP family celebration
Grants and Fundraising
This past year we have made requests to a number of organizations for grants. We have been quite successful in obtaining grant monies to assist with program delivery. Thank you to the following organizations, foundations and government funding for their support:
- Wasyl Topolnicky Memorial Foundation:, 2007, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19
- Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko: 2010-11, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16. 2017-18
- Carpathia Credit Union 2007, 2008-9, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
- Province of Manitoba Ethnocultural Grant(s): 2007, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19
- Winnipeg Foundation: 2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2017-18
- Catholic Foundation of Mb: 2008-09, 2010-11, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2018-19
- Anne Knights of Columbus: 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19
- Boniface Ukrainian Foundation: – 2013-14
- Manitoba Community Services Council: 2014-15, 2017-18
- McLennan Group of Companies –`Dollars for Doers` program granted funds to MPUE based on the request of allocation by Jared Mickall: 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19
- Ukrainian Fraternal Society of Canada: 2015
- Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada; Ukrainian Catholic Parish of the Resurrection: 2014
- Province of Manitoba – Heritage Grant: 2016-17
- Holy Family Home: 2012-13, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18
We have also been successful for the past number of years in securing funding to hire a summer student for through the Government of Canada Summer Jobs Program.
Our goal in seeking grants and raising funds is to ensure the community building, extra-curricular events and field trips can continue to be offered to our children. This also assists in conserving the Osvita Foundation funds for long term investment and growth.
40th Anniversary Special Grant for EUBP Schools
In recognition that the 2018-19 school year marked the 40th year of the English-Ukrainian Bilingual Program in Manitoba and MPUE and Osvita Foundation encouraged each school to celebrate this milestone anniversary year in a special way, and provided support through a special grant of up to $500 per EUBP school. The project criteria were to: Promote Ukrainian language and cultural learning by students and acknowledge and celebrate the 40th year of the EUBP. The special grant of up to 80% of project costs to a maximum of $500 per school could be used for project supplies, learning materials, artist or instructor honorarium, and was to occur and be completed during the 2018-19 school year.
MPUE Advocacy Efforts and Issues Management
MPUE continues to advocate on behalf of families in regards to access to EUBP programs in their School Divisions.
MPUE continued talks with River East Collegiate to explore offering a 100 level high school Ukrainian language course to begin in the 2019-20 school year. Unfortunately, the information night was not well attended and subsequently the course will not proceed in the 2019-20 school year.
In February 2019, River East Transcona School Division (RETSD) publicly announced plans to amalgamate and relocate the K-5 EUBP programming from Springfield Heights School (SHS) and Bernie Wolfe Community School (BW) to Prince Edward School (PES) beginning in September 2020. I want to especially thank Tami Kowal-Denisenko, Jonathon Weber, Judy Burak and Barb Thiessen for their leadership and dedication to advocacy efforts regarding the amalgamation of RETSD programing and their assistance to families who are affected by this change.
MPUE Board, Advisory Board, EUBP School Principals and EUBP Teachers
I want to thank the members of the MPUE Board for all their commitment of time, support and friendship. We have done a lot of work together this past year and we really have accomplished some great things for our children. Thank you to Barb Thiessen, Tami Kowal-Denisenko, Pat Bugera-Krawchuk, Jonathon Weber, Karlie Debets, Anna Glibka, Annette Stasiuk, Judy Burak, Lesia Drul, Ceri Haynes, Kerrie Yakielashek and Brittany Robinson for your time and efforts. What a great team, with each of us bringing our own unique skills and perspectives, we make things happen! Thank you.
Thank you to the Board of Advisors, Lesia Szwaluk, Susan Zuk, Iryna Konstantiuk, Greg Udod, Nataliya Sovinska, Helen Mayba, Dr. Dennis Hlynka and Sophia Kachor, for providing your experience, expertise and advice. Your guidance and thoughts are always welcome and necessary. We appreciate your ongoing interest in the success of this Board and the EUBP. I want to extend a special thank you to our Honourary Solicitor, Martha Chuchman. While this year presented challenges she has done her best to be a sympathetic ear to listen, to assist us as best she could and to stand by us.
To the Osvita Foundation Board of Trustees: Susan Zuk, Tami Kowal-Denisenko, Nancy Lovenjak, Jared Mickall, Marianna Cap, Adrian Fedyna and Paulette Monita, thank you for supporting MPUE financially and with advice and guidance. As Osvita Trustees the importance of maintaining a financial base to support the EUBP is invaluable. Thank you.
To the EUBP School Principals and more than 32 EUBP teachers, thank you for your support of the cultural and language learning of EUBP students. We could not have this wonderful program without you and we look forward to continuing to work hand in hand with you to provide the best educational experience possible for all EUBP children.
These have been some of the highlights and challenges experienced by the program for the 2018-19 school year. As we move forward, we must be confident in our EUBP parent community, continue to advocate for our EUBP students and be proud of our accomplishments. Our focus continues to be growth and promotion of the program, strengthening relationships with School Divisions and helping the schools and teachers within the program.