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A. Kazickas Lithuanian School 
Institution name: Lithuanian Educational Council
Address: 127 Straight Path
Southampton, NY 11968
Telephone: (631) 353-5016
Fax: (000) 000-0000
Web address: http://www.akazickasls.org
Name: Neila Baumiliene
Title: Principal
Address: 127 Straight Path
SouthamptonNY  11968
Email: n.baumiliene@akazickasls.org
Telephone: (631) 353-5016
Fax: (000) 000-0000
Purposes and goals of the program:
A. Kazickas Lithuanian School (AKLS) works to foster young American Lithuanians’ (immigrants or children of immigrants) love for the Lithuanian language, traditions and culture, to encourage their love for Lithuania, to develop their creativity, to provide students with multiple ways of
learning through educational and enrichment experiences and opportunities. AKLS provides students with an opportunity to learn and maintain the Lithuanian language and culture through play, art, song, grammar, celebration of traditions, friendships with local community members, travel and participation in Lithuanian festivals, sports championships, and camps. AKLS provides parents with networking opportunities. AKLS works to preserve Lithuanian as it is often said to be the most conservative living Indo-European language.
Program origin:
In 2005, the Lithuanian Heritage Saturday school as a community program was initiated by parents, immigrants from Lithuania to Long Island, NY. They honored Mrs. Alexandra Kazickas, wife of Dr. Joseph Kazickas, Lithuanian emigrée, businessman and philanthropist whose family were proud of their Lithuanian roots and contributed to preserve the Lithuanian culture and language for years. Alexandra Kazickas was deeply committed to the preservation of a Lithuanian identity for young people growing up in the US. Her generosity in 2006 enabled the founding of the first heritage school on Long Island, NY, the Alexandra Kazickas Lithuanian School. 
Program funding:
The program is sponsored by the Kazickas Family Foundation ( www.kff.lt ).
Additional funding comes from tuition, the Lithuanian Foundation of Chicago,
IL ( http://www.lithuanianfoundation.org), local businesses of Long Island, NY, and fundraising (Yard sales and special events).
Languages/dialects taught:
  • Lithuanian
  • Program type:  Community-Based
    Average enrollment: 30
    Total contact hours per week: 4
    Times per week classes meet: 1
    When meetings take place:
    35 Saturdays per year
    Where meetings take place:
    Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 269 Main Rd, Aquebogue, NY 11931
    Parents' or guardians' expectations of the program:
    Parents' primary expectation is for their children to be able to understand, speak, read, and write Lithuanian, be familiar with Lithuania’s culture, history and geography, to know Lithuanian songs, dances and traditions. Parents are looking for other children and families with whom they can interact in Lithuanian and relate to.
    Parents' or guardians' involvement in the program:
    Parents volunteer their time and/or resources for the annual school year opening ceremony, pumpkin patch outing, Halloween night, All Saint’s Cemetery visit, Christmas celebration, trips to NYC, Lithuania’s Independence Day, Mardi Gras, Easter, Mother’s day and End of the School year celebrations. Parents volunteer in fundraising events such as yard sales. Parents help their children with their weekly homework and reading assignments.
    Instructors' expectations of the program:
    To motivate students to love their families and Lithuanian heritage, to motivate them to make an effort to learn about it and preserve it, to learn Lithuanian. For students to complete their weekly homework assignments and be prepared to participate in class, to be proactive in the Lithuanian community on the local, national and international levels. Having in mind how fragile Lithuania's Freedom has been, to value Freedom, Democracy and Peace. To participate in raising and educating global citizens with love and respect for their own cultural identity.
    Number of instructors in the program
    Full-time instructors: 6
    Part-time instructors: 1
    Volunteer instructors: 2
    Languages in which instructors are proficient:
    Lithuanian, English, Russian, Polish, French
    Educational backgrounds and credentials of instructors
    (e.g., diploma, bachelor's, master's, doctorate, certificate):

    master's and doctorates in unrelated fields, three master's in Lithuanian Language education from Lithuania's Universities, one master's in Education in the US.
    Professional development opportunities instructors have:
    Lithuanian Educational Council of US (http://www.svietimotaryba.org/) organizes teacher continuous education seminars
    Professional development opportunities instructors need:
    Curriculum, lesson planning and course development
    Students' expectations of the program:
    For Lithuanians as members of a small nation, learning languages has been a pure necessity for survival. Students from the American Lithuanian Community are proud to learn Lithuanian as their second, third or even fourth language. As a result students are able to communicate with their relatives in Lithuania, to understand history and culture, to participate in summer camps and festivals, form friendships with people they can relate to. These programs give opportunities to become informal ambassadors of Lithuania.
    Student background
    First-generation immigrants: 13%
    Second-generation immigrants:
    Third-generation immigrants:
    Children of interethnic marriages: 30%
    Children of interethnic adoption:
    Indigenous students:
    Others: 57%
    Students' countries of origin:
    US, Lithuania
    How the program identifies heritage language speakers:
    Teachers determine student's written and oral skills of the Heritage language. 
    Average enrollment: 30
    Approximate percentage of students who complete the program: 75%
    Approximate percentage of students who continue to study the heritage language after completing the program:
    Possible reasons that students continue to study the heritage language after completing the program:
    So far no AKLS graduates have been studying the Lithuanian language in a college or a University. Although, those who become active members of the American Lithuanian community continue using and improving their Lithuanian language. 
    Total contact hours per week: 4
    Times per week: 1
    Student grouping (e.g., proficiency level, grade, age):
    by language aptitude and age
    Language skills taught in the program (e.g., reading, writing, speaking, and listening):
    reading, writing, speaking, and listening
    Aspects of culture included in the program (e.g., history, literature, traditions):
    geography, history, festivals, customs, traditions and beliefs, folktales, arts and crafts, songs, rhymes, social and cultural norms, and literature
    Other content taught in the program:
    once a year, ethics
    Instructional methodologies used in the program:
    refer to the webpage of the Lithuanian Educational Council (http://www.svietimotaryba.org/newsite/gaires.htm)
    Levels of language proficiency reached by the end of the program (e.g., ACTFL proficiency levels, language tasks able to perform):
    ACTFL (Advanced Low and Mid), CERF B1 and B2
    Manuals and workbooks:
    Self-designed materials:
    Films, videos, and DVDs:
    Standardized tests used:
    Other assessments used:
    Locally designed test assessing listening and reading comprehension, speaking and writing skills. Lithuanian language teacher with diploma from a University in Lithuania, 10 year Lithuanian language education experience in Lithuania, and 8 year Lithuanian language education experience in the A. Kazickas Lithuanian School (NY, US) prepares and executes the test. 
    Connections with local schools or other organizations:
    AKLS students participate in Neringa Lithuanian Heritage summer camp, Lithuanian song and dance festivals, along with the American Lithuanian community of Eastern Long Island organize charitable fundraisers for causes in Lithuania, participate in local runs (e.g. Ellen's run )and fundraisers (e.g. at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church), participate in the Operation Christmas Child. Students take part in essay contests organized by the Lithuanian Educational Council of the US.
    Credit received from formal education system:
    local public schools give 3 LOTE credits with a "pass" grade
    Types of support received (e.g., financial, time from parents or volunteers):
    Parents volunteer their time and/or resources for the annual School year opening ceremony, Pumpkin patch outing, Halloween night, All Saint’s Cemetery visit, Christmas celebration, Trips to NYC, Lithuania’s Independence Day, Mardi Gras, Easter, Mother’s day and End of the School year celebrations. Parents volunteer in fundraising such as Yard Sales. Parents help their children with their weekly homework and reading assignments. Local businesses donate gift certificates for Christmas Raffle. Kazickas Family Foundation is the main sponsor of the program. Lithuanian Foundation through the Lithuanian Educational Council also gives annual grants for the program. Ministry of Education and Science and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania through the Consulate General of the Republic of Lithuania in NYC occasionally provide with teaching material.
    Additional support desired:
    Any expertise that would help to develop a well rounded Heritage Language Community program covering all six categories: curriculum, instructional practice, assessment, district support, professional practice and parent/community involvement.
    Challenges faced by the program:
    1. It has been difficult to integrate non-fluent students of all ages into classes for fluent students. It is difficult to meet every student's needs with only 3-4 class levels and a limited number of teachers and staff. 2. It is hard to gain recognition by all public school districts. These type of programs in general are not viewed with enough respect and attention to them. 3. It would be helpful to have a resource center/website that would cover all necessary areas/criteria of the program and would provide tools for easier administration of the program.
    Alexandra Kazickas Lithuanian School (AKLS) set a foundation for the Alexandra Kazickas Grant Program (AKGP) established in 2012 to support Lithuanian Heritage Schools in the US (http://kff.lt/AKGP-860.html). This program within the Kazickas Family Foundation honors the memory of Alexandra Kazickas, (1920-2011) the late wife of Dr. Juozas P. Kazickas and the mother of Jurate, Joseph, Alexander (d. 1976), Michael and John. She was deeply committed to the preservation of a Lithuanian identity for young people growing up in the US.