- SCHOOL IDEA 2005-2006
    - SCHOOL YEAR 2006-2007
    - SCHOOL YEAR 2007-2008
    - SCHOOL YEAR 2008-2009
  - SCHOOL YEAR 2009-2010
    - SCHOOL YEAR 2010-2011
    - SCHOOL YEAR 2011-2012
    - SCHOOL YEAR 2012-2013
    - SCHOOL YEAR 2013-2014
    - SCHOOL YEAR 2014-2015
    - SCHOOL YEAR 2015-2016
    - SCHOOL YEAR 2016-2017
          - SCHOOL NAME
          - PHOTOS

                      2009-2010 School Year at Alexandra Kazickas Lithuanian School

     On September 19th,2009, the Alexandra Kazickas Lithuanian School started the fourth school year while St. Casimir Lithuanian Heritage school in Los Angeles, CA started its 60th and Maironis Lithuanian Heritage school in Lemont, IL its 50th year. Maironis school principal Mrs. Jurate Elvikiene wrote: “We can all learn Lithuanian by ourselves but we can’t learn to be Lithuanian by ourselves.” During the AKLS opening ceremony, three guests spoke about their Lithuanian Heritage. Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering Rimas Vaicaitis of Columbia Univeristy spoke about his daughter Rima, a teacher in a public school in Brooklyn, whose knowledge of the Lithuanian language granted an opportunity to a group of American school children to visit Lithuania and eventually to receive a reciprocal visit from school children from Lithuania. Chairwoman of the 152 Chapter of Knights of Lithuania Julia Schroder shared stories about her four decade involvement in the Lithuanian Community of the US. Julia’s son Chris remembered his trips to Lithuania and expressed his willingness to learn Lithuanian.

     The School year started with a spiritual event – Holy Mass in Lithuanian on the hill of Our Lady of the Island in Manorville. Knights of Lithuania who organized the event were happy to see so many Lithuanians 22 years after the last Lithuanian mass on the hill. Father Vytautas Volertas would be coming to celebrate it in 2009, 2010, 2012.

     In 2009-2010 kindergarteners learned first letters and words in Lithuanian. Older students studied the Lithuanian language, literature, history and geography. Students took part in contests organized by the Educational Council of Lithuanian Community of US (LEC). For the picture contest they had to draw scenes from the Battle of Grunwald 1410. The essay contest celebrated the 1000th anniversary of Lithuania’s name. Among all the participants of 30 Lithuanian Heritages schools of the US, AKLS student Justas Klimavicius received a special prize for his essay.

     The school was opened for thirty three Saturdays consisting of four academic hours (45 minutes each). Thirty two students attended the school and seven graduated. The website www.akazickasls.org was administered by Gintaute Genender. The faculty consisted of kindergarten teacher Rita Klimaviciene with her assistant, former AKLS student Gabriele Petrauskaite, Lithuanian language teacher for the elementary level Ramune Kurbanoviene, Lithuanian language teacher for the intermediate and advanced levels Renata Petrauskiene, geography and craft teacher Jolanta Vilcinskiene and Lithuanian history teacher Algirdas Vysniauskas. Daiva Matoniene was the treasurer. Renata Cheshire was the head of the parent committee. The principal of the school was Neila Baumiliene.

     During the school year AKLS hosted many events, celebrations and trips. Most of them were presented in twelve articles in the Lithuanian press of the US. AKLS students Austeja Petrauskaite and Patricija Naskauskaite, as well as Neila Baumiliene were the contributing authors of the articles. In September, Consulate General of the Republic of Lithuania in New York hosted an evening with the President of Lithuania H.E. Dalia Grybauskaite. AKLS principal Neila Baumiliene spoke to the President about AKLS. In October, students went to Pumpkin town, and celebrated Halloween. A movie night and conversation with OFM (Franciscan brother) Gediminas Numgaudis was held. In December, AKLS participated in the Operation Christmas Child where families made gifts in shoe boxes for children all around the world. The Christmas performance theme was „Pipi Longstockings“. A traditional family ski trip and a New Year Celebration continued. Two baby showers were held for Danute Taraseviciene expecting a baby girl Migle and Gintaute Genender expecting twins Kai and Leila. A Mardi Gras celebration brought in making of pancakes and masks. Easter was traditionally held by decorating eggs, rolling them and playing outdoor games. In April, two events marked Earth Day. First, students were given a class on work of Wildlife RescueCenter of the Hamptons. Seven wild rescued animals, called ambassadors, were brought in and a lesson was given about the ways to help them live and survive with humans. Secondly, students went on a boat trip for seal watching. Three more extracurricular classes took place in AKLS when professor Rimas Vaicaitis presented a lesson on aviation, dietitian Nele Tyliene gave a lesson on food and a movie on Amber of the world was shown. May started with a Family sports day in Red Creek Park in Hampton Bays just before the end of the school year and final exams. Graduates were given new exams in the Lithuanian language according to five criteria: language usage, coherence of sentences, fluency, pronunciation and clarity of thought.

     On June 12th, 2010 AKLS had graduates: Austeja Petrauskaite, Kotryna Jankunaite, Justas Lauzadis, Aldas Levisauskas, Jokubas Balciunas, Arnoldas Kurbanovas, and Giedrius Matonis. With seven candles they lit one big one in the middle of an oak wreath symbolizing the fire of knowledge of AKLS. The graduates were presented with certificates and given special gifts from Ramute Zukas, Chairwoman of the NY Council of the Lithuanian American Community. While the youngest students gave the graduates flowers, a recording of the song “Birds” by Kostas Smoriginas was being played to symbolize the youth leaving home. AKLS principal Neila Baumiliene spoke: "We came to the US and were separated from our loved ones, our land, our language... Thanks to all of you, to the school, to the Lithuanian language spoken together on Saturdays we felt more at home, more at peace, more comfortable. Giving this peace and comfort became part of the AKLS mission." Mother Mary, pastor of Grace Episcopal Church gave a blessing, wished everyone to have a safe summer and come back to school on September 12th, 2010.

     The school year ended at the beginning of a busy summer. A group of school students, parents and staff visited with Mrs. Alexandra Kazickas in East Hampton. They reflected on the past school year and spoke about plans for the summer. Mrs. Kazickas was celebrting her 90th birthday and an album was being made about AKLS. (Presented in October 2010). The school choir of twelve was going to participate in the Lithuanian Song festival in Toronto, Canada. Eleven AKLS would receive their Confirmation in the Transfiguration Roman Catholic Church in Maspeth, NY thanks to Father Vyt. Volertas, with Bishop Paulius Baltakis present. Ten AKLS students would spend their summer in Lithuania. A group of children and parents would participate in Ellen’s Run to support Mrs. A. Kazickas in her fight with breast cancer. AKLS would participate in Ellen’s Run again in 2011 and 2012.

     Special thanks to the Alexandra Kazickas Lithuanian school families, staff and friends for their in-kind contributions: Daiva and Kestutis Jankunas, Renata and Jeff Cheshire, Snieguole Furajeviene and Jolanta Vilcinskiene for taking pictures on every occasion, Vilma Bendarinaite and Algirdas Vysniauskas for the music and technical support on disco nights. Gratitude to Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering Rimas Vaicaitis of Columbia Univeristy who came to school every Saturday to spend time with students and faculty. Thanks to the Lithuania Educational Council of the US and the Lithuanian Foundation for their support.
Special thanks to Mrs. Alexandra and Dr. Joseph P. Kazickas, their daughter Jurate, sons Joseph, Michael and John, their families for continuous financial support.

    Neila Baumiliene
    Southampton, NY
    April, 2013