Upon finding themselves in a new country, Ukrainian immigrants worked hard to stay together as a community for the preservation of the Ukrainian language and Ukrainian culture. To do so, they built Ukrainian cultural centers, schools, and churches. Through the schools they were able to pass on the language and traditions to the next generation while at the same time assimilating into American society. Today, we are extraordinarily grateful to those Ukrainians who first came to Los Angeles and built the infrastructure of the Ukrainian community. For generations now, parents have dedicated their time to and effort toward raising their children in bi-lingual and bi-cultural households. This dedication has kept the Ukrainian School in Los Angeles alive.
It is a real privilege for me to have the opportunity to teach at the Los Angeles Ukrainian School. Teaching is not only a profession, it is a calling and a passion. It is only by following your passion that a person can be truly happy. As a teacher, I have the opportunity to weave into the children’s hearts and minds a knowledge and respect for where they came from, what their culture is about and how their ancestors lived. My hope is to instill in them a love for Ukraine as well as knowledge of her history and respect for her independence. I believe that knowledge of one’s ethnicity is a crucial aspect of a child’s socialization.
Our goal is to teach the next generation of ethnic Ukrainians about their roots and to take pride in their relationship to Ukraine. We have students who are fluent in Ukrainian as well as students who do not speak the language. Aside from language studies, we strive to teach the children about Ukrainian culture, history and geography. They also have the opportunity to learn through music and poetry – learning songs and performing at regularly scheduled concerts. At our school, children have the chance to learn Ukrainian beyond the boundaries of their home life and speak the language with peers as well as teachers.
Ultimately, we feel that students who attend “Ridna Shkola” have a unique opportunity for intellectual and social development