Ambassador Hall Remarks for Back to School Reception


Ambassador Hall for Remarks for Back to School Reception

Vilnius, Lithuania

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Sveiki atvykę į JAV ambasadoriaus rezidenciją. Džiaugiuosi galėdama mokslo metų pradžios proga čia priimti mokytojus ir mokinius. / Welcome to the U.S. Ambassador’s residence. I am delighted to host this gathering for teachers and students to celebrate the beginning of a new school year.

All of us at the U.S. Embassy believe that our partnerships with teachers and students are foundational to the future of relations between the U.S. and Lithuania.  You are the future leaders of this country – not just of government, but of businesses, civil society organizations, and local communities.  We want to give you every opportunity to practice your English skills and learn more about American culture so that you can help us continue building strong partnerships between our two countries in all fields – educational, cultural, economic, and political.

During the last school year – with your help and cooperation – our Embassy interacted with more than 6,700 Lithuanian students!  Lithuanian schools made 54 visits to the Embassy and U.S. diplomats made 69 visits to schools and communities across the country.   We talked about football and baseball, Thanksgiving, National Parks, the culture and history of our unique states, human rights, NATO, entrepreneurship and – of course – 100 years of U.S-Lithuanian diplomatic relations.  We installed “Discover America” interactive terminals at schools, libraries, and other locations around the country.

We judged English spelling bees, song competitions, poetry readings, and debate contests.  We sent students on summer exchanges.  And we even sponsored a summer camp that brought American, Polish, and Lithuanian students together!

We can’t wait to do it again!  We are so excited about the importance of education that we have added new programs and presentations for the next school year, and I want to highlight just a few:

  • In September, we will welcome four young Americans to Lithuania who will live and work this school year in Visaginas, Marijampole, Šilute, and Klaipeda as Fulbright English Teaching Assistants. They will be here to help teachers and students develop their English skills.
  • We just said goodbye to a group of Lithuanian high school students who will spend this school year living with American families and attending American schools through our FLEX If that sounds interesting to you, I hope you will consider applying for the program; representatives from American Councils are here today and they can tell you all about FLEX.
  • The Embassy’s EducationUSA advisors are here to offer advice about attending colleges and universities in the U.S. Ask them questions about higher education opportunities in the U.S.
  • And of course, you are welcome to visit the Embassy or invite a diplomat to visit your school. We have some new presentations we are excited about this year!  There are so many options.  We have a handout for teachers with a list of everything we are offering this year.

Amerikos žmonių vardu noriu jums palinkėti sėkmingų mokslo metų. Tikimės bendradarbiauti su jumis šiais metais ir dar daugelį metų ateityje! Dėkoju visiems susirinkusiems ir linkiu jums smagaus vakarėlio! / On behalf of the people of the United States, I want to wish you all a wonderful school year.  We look forward to working with you this year and in the years to come! Thank you all for coming today and we look forward to seeing you many more times in the next year.

Photo gallery from the reception: