Newsletter 31

News of the School

The School Year, and our Financial Year, ended on May 31.

Year 9

At the end of May two daytrips were organised. Lena Silianova took Year nine (minus Andrei and Pasha who were ill) to the old village of Kolomenskoe, on the banks of the Moskva river, and now a stop on the Metro. This former royal estate was originally the site of a wooden palace built by Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. That has disappeared but there are many other ancient buildings in the park, including the famous Cathedral of the Ascension, which is older than the cathedrals in the Kremlin. None of the class had ever been to Kolomenskoe.

Also in May Sasha Vetchinin, a Deaf PE teacher from School 65, took Year 9 on a camping expedition to a local forest.

The sporting prowess of the year continues to impress. The newest member of the class Arina followed in Alen’s footsteps and took up orienteering (Alen is in the national Russian Deaf team). Dima is a champion swimmer over 50 metres, while Andrei took a bronze medal at the same distance. Vanya’s soccer team were runners-up in a Moscow-wide tournament.


This is Year 5, at the School Party. At the top right-hand corner of the table is Vanya Patajo who began his Bilingual education in our Kindergarten group.

Where mbdsa money went

We were able to contribute to the salary of our Sign Language teacher Tania Davidenko. Tanya has been teaching RSL to some of the children for nine years - more, if one takes into account their time in our Bilingual kindergarten. Tanya has had to write much of the course herself, adding to the three years’ material produced by our late founder, Galina Zaitseva.

The intention is to publish Tanya’s material so that her expertise can be passed on to future generations of teachers. Russian Sign language is a core subject for our Bilingual curriculum. Many Deaf people, who use RSL for everyday purposes, find difficulty in using it to tell, or retell, stories, or to produce clear narrative accounts of events. Among Year 9, Vanya Ivanov, who is not a star academically, is the richest RSL, followed closely by Sasha and Dima.

We are grateful to our long-time Russian sponsors Chevron oil for supplying a video camera which is much used in Tanya’s lessons. For our part, mbdsa bought a new printer and stationery for the School, and paid for repairs to the computer.

Studying the map of the Pereslavl/Lake Pleshcheevo area. Left to right: Sasha, Vanya, Pasha and Dima, all Year 9.


As reported in Newsletter 30 the School had hoped to visit Deaf School No. 6 in Kiev. Bureaucratic and health problems meant that the visit did not place this year, although the invitation from School No. 6 still stands.


Peter’s boat with our Vanya Ivanov

  • At the end of August or the beginning of September it is planned to take what will then be Year 10 to one of two beautiful ancient towns near Moscow – either Tarusa or Maloyaroslavets.
  • Mbdsa has always helped with these important extra-curricular activities and is happy to do so again.
  • A full balance sheet for the year ending 31 May 2008 will be available shortly from the office.

News of staff

Congratulations to ‘LF’ (sign name of our teacher Lena Fedina, whom we introduced in Newsletter 30). Lena gave birth to a son, Danechka, on June 2.

Tanya Braudo, who worked for us for a number of years, is now Deputy Head of School 65, our host school. Her work with special needs Deaf children has now been taken over by Tonya Shikhova, who works with a total of seventeen children in small groups or on a one-to-one basis. Tonia also teaches RSL to two groups of parents.


Tonia Shikhova working with ten-year-old Kristina, who has severe sight loss and who transferred to us from the school for deaf-blind children at Zagorsk.


We have had fresh supplies of a number of books, notably:

  • Galina Zaitseva’s book on Russian Sign Language, which includes a dictionary of 208 signs, all with English translation supplied by us. 12 GBP/20 USD

  • Arzamas-16 – an English translation of the book written by the parents of our former teacher Irina Tsukerman and telling, among much else, how they came to terms with her deafness and helped her to do so. 8 GBP/15 USD

  • Deaf Children and Bilingual Education (English-language version of the proceedings of the 1996 Moscow conference). 8 GBP/15 USD

Remember there is no charge for postage and packing, and you only pay on receipt of your book. These books are sold on a ‘first come first served’ basis. There are substantial discounts for mbdsa members.

We are also offering Life or Hearing (the story of Irina Tsukerman) and/or a newly published children’s book The Mouser ate the House (written by one of our supporters in America) to anyone who joins mbdsa or buys one of our books.

Don’t forget our translation service from and into Russian. We specialize in deaf-related items, but can tackle most things.

We thank all our supporters once again and wish them all the best for the summer.

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