The Board of Directors of the American Council of Teachers of Russian, a constituent organization of the American Councils for International Education, has established a special award. Each school where Russian is taught may designate one 10th or 11th grade student as Russian Scholar Laureate for 2006. The school's principal or director must nominate the student on official school stationery, and include a color photograph of the student suitable for publication, the student?s name and home mailing address and current Russian teacher?s name. The nomination should also include a brief listing of the student?s achievements in Russian study and his/her GPA. The nomination must be received by May 1, 2006. Laureates will receive certificates of achievement and recognition in the form of letters to the school. Their names will be included in an announcement in the ACTR Letter and on this Web site. Nominations for the award should be sent to: Russian Scholar Laureate Award, George Morris, Chair, 3109 Yale Boulevard, St. Charles, MO 63301-0462.
Each fall, US high school students are invited to take part in a competition of written Russian-language skills. Students contribute essays on a specific topic. Essays are evaluated by US teachers of Russian and language specialists from the Pushkin Institute in Moscow. Students are evaluated based on the number of years they have been studying Russian, with native speakers of Russian considered separately. Winners are awarded gold, silver, or bronze medals or honorable mentions.
The Olympiada program is the oldest of all American Councils secondary school activities, dating to the 1960s and 1970s. Drawing on the long-established practice of oral-speaking competitions within the Russian educational system, the American Councils Olympiada contests in the United States have provided a major forum for successive generations of US high school students of Russian to demonstrate excellence in the language and to test their knowledge of spoken Russian in open competitions, judged each year by regional teachers and other Russian experts. Successes in the American Councils regional Olympiadas across the United States are acknowledged by the national organization in several ways: medalists are recognized in awards assemblies in their respective schools, teachers are commended by their school districts, and during years which there is an international competition in Moscow, the top students in each region (the gold medalists) are invited to take part in International Olympiada Competition in Russia under the American Councils for International Education.
Each year there are state and regional competitions in the United States. Every three or four years an international Olympiada contest is convened in Moscow, during which students of Russian from around the world, winners of the Olympiadas in their respective countries, gather in Moscow to compete for the international medals, as well as engage in a rich program of cultural activities, performances, and juries. The next international competition will take place in 2012.