In 2014 the Moscow Commission launched its Educational Connections Program to foster sister-school partnerships between K-12 schools in Santa Clara County and Moscow. The objective of the program is to provide opportunities for youth in both geographies to share their cultures, develop life-long friendships, and collaborate on joint projects. Concurrently, the program provides opportunities for teachers and school administrators to discuss common issues, to share best practices, and to foster international cooperation.
In March 2015 and March 2016, the Moscow Commission facilitated science delegations from Moscow's Slavic-Anglo-American School, participating in the Santa Clara County Science Fair, to enhance their local experiences by arranging for them to work as docents at the Tech Museum in San Jose and to shadow students and participate in discussions at Christopher High School in Gilroy.
Building on its successes from 2014 through 2016, in 2017 the Educational Connections program focused on facilitating bilateral exchanges between Gilroy's Christopher High School and Moscow's Slavic-Anglo-American School. Exchanges included a Slavic-Anglo-American School theater delegation and science fair delegation which were hosted by Christopher High School as well as a Christopher High School theater delegation which participated in a Shakespeare festival at Moscow's Slavic-Anglo-American School. Additionally, 2017 heralded the deepening of a collaboration between hospital schools in Moscow and Santa Clara County and the launching of a collaboration on inclusive education and theater between the two areas.
- Christopher High School was the only theater group In the United States that was invited to participate in the Slavic-Anglo-American School Shakespeare Festival in Moscow, Russia. Aside from an extraordinary opportunity to grow as artists and learn history, language, literature, and culture from a unique perspective, the trip to Moscow was a true exchange. Students attended classes with their Russian counterparts at the Slavic Anglo-American School and participated in workshops at the most prominent theatre conservatory in western culture—the Moscow Art Theatre.
- With Russia figuring prominently in world politics, it is important to forge connections to develop an understanding of each other's national character. The best way to do this is to interact with others whose history, traditions, and experience differ from ours. Our students shared creative interpretations of classic texts, explored themes and ideas, trained and collaborated with Russian teens. They experienced how the Russian students are educated and live. The insight gained from this experience will change how our students view themselves in the world and may influence their educational and career choices for years to come.
Dr. Kate Booth. Christopher High School, Gilroy
"We really enjoy our interactions with Santa Clara County and I cannot thank enough Moscow Commissioner Nancy Madison, our main contact in the county, for all her help. Students from our school "Marina" in Moscow have been participating in the Santa Clara Valley Science and Engineering fair as guest participants since 2002, and it has been always an amazing experience for our students. However, last year was very special since our students also had an opportunity to work as volunteers at the Tech Museum and visit Christopher High School in Gilroy. Both events were organized with the help of the Moscow Commission."
Dr. Marina Liubimova, Slavic-Anglo-American School, Moscow