April Brooks, one of MS 88's English teachers, is in Slovakia serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. We will be in touch with Ms. Brooks by email and regular mail.

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Slovakia: Peace Corps Slovakia : Web Links for Slovakia RPCVs: April Brooks, one of MS 88's English teachers, is in Slovakia serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. We will be in touch with Ms. Brooks by email and regular mail.

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, July 15, 2001 - 9:34 am: Edit Post

April Brooks, one of MS 88's English teachers, is in Slovakia serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. We will be in touch with Ms. Brooks by email and regular mail.

April Brooks, one of MS 88's English teachers, is in Slovakia serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. We will be in touch with Ms. Brooks by email and regular mail.


PCV Brooks

April Brooks, one of MS 88's English teachers, is in Slovakia serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. We will be in touch with Ms. Brooks by email and regular mail.

Ms. Brooks will be writing a series a letters to the students here at MS 88 describing her experiences in Slovakia. She is anxious to answer questions. On our end, we will provide information about Slovakia, and point to other sources as we discover them, and will provide information about life in the US for Ms. Brooks's Slovakian students.


Letter #1

An introduction to Ms. Brooks and Peace Corps.

Letter #2

Some questions answered.

From Slovakia, to Slovakia

1997 - 1998

Essays from Slovakia

* These essays were written by Ms. Brooks's students as part of their English language studies.

Slovak Schools By Lucia S., Veronika, Jozef and Ivana.

Nice Places of Slovakia By Kristin, Zuzana and Palo.

Gardens in Slovakia By Silvia, Diliana, Gabriela and Alexandra

Slovak Grape Harvest By Lenka, Sona, Lucia M. and Dusan.

1996 - 1997

From #1

Some getting acquainted questions.

To #1

Class 7a

From #2

Class 7b

From #3

From 7

Easter Traditions and Springtime in Slovakia

Student essays from Slovakia.

A Postcard from Slovakia

Spisske Podhradie


Set #1

Received January 1997.


Time Zones

What time is it in Slovakia?

Links to Slovakia and the Peace Corps

Welcome to Slovakia

Slovakia's home page.


The home page of the town where Ms. Brooks is stationed. Includes a photo section containing pictures of Levice.

Peace Corps

The Peace Corps's home page and the starting point for a lot of information about other countries. This page has information about Slovakia and the Peace Corps in Slovakia: http://www.peacecorps.gov/www/io/ecam/Slovakia_intro.html.

February 15, 1998

[Home] [Top]

An Introduction to Peace Corps

My name is April Brooks. I was once a teacher at MS 88. Now I am a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in the Slovak Republic which is located in Eastern Europe. I will occasionally write to you describing my adventures here. Through e-mail you will be able to ask me questions about my new country. Soon, you will get to see some pictures of Slovakia, and eventually, you will even meet some of my Slovak students on-line.

What is the Peace Corps?

The Peace Corps was established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. The Peace Corps' mission is to promote world peace and friendship. American citizens volunteer to serve in foreign countries for approximately two years. The first group of Volunteers served in Ghana, West Africa starting in 1961. Since then more than 130,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps Volunteers in more than 100 countries around the world. Among other achievements, these volunteers have helped people overseas to develop technical skills, fight malnutrition and disease, and create small businesses. Today, more than 6,500 Volunteers serve in 93 countries, including the former Soviet Union and China. Both young and older adults participate in Peace Corps. The typical age of a Peace Corps Volunteer is 31, and one out of eight Volunteers is older than 50.

What am I doing in Slovakia?

In 1995 I decided that I would like to join Peace Corps. I thought it would be interesting to help people in another country and to learn about another culture. In January 1996 I found out that Peace Corps wanted me to serve in Eastern Europe in the Slovak Republic. Peace Corps began sending me all kinds of information about my new assignment. I found out that while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer, I would be responsible for doing three things. First, I would be helping Slovakia with its technical needs. In other words, Slovakia needed English teachers, so I would teach English. Slovakia also needed environmentalists and business consultants. I have many friends who are working in those areas. Secondly, I would be responsible for promoting a better understanding of the American people. Many people in Slovakia think that Americans act just like they do in the movies and on TV. Part of my job here is to teach the Slovaks about how Americans really are. For example, a popular TV show here is Dallas. It's important for my students to understand that not all Americans live like J.R. and Bobby Ewing. Thirdly, I would need to teach people in America about the Slovak people. I am supposed to share my experiences here with the people I know back in the States.

How can you help?

Since moving here last June, I have been working hard to accomplish the above goals, but now I need your help with the second and third things I have to do. I need you to help me teach my Slovak students about American students, and they in turn will help me teach you about them. As I said before, you will have the opportunity to ask me questions about Slovakia and to tell me what kinds of things I should teach the Slovaks about the American people.

What you should know about Slovakia?


Slovakia is located in Eastern Europe. It is surrounded by five countries-Poland, the Ukraine, Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic. Can you find it on a map?

Capital City



49,035 square kilometers


5.358 million - 85.6% Slovak. The rest are ethnic minorities including Hungarians, Czechs, Gypsies, Ruthenians, Ukrainians, Poles, and Germans.

Official Language


What's up for our next chat?

The next time I write I'll give you more details about my schools. Please send me any questions you have so far. You should be able to find more information about Peace Corps, John F. Kennedy, Slovakia and Eastern Europe in the school library.

Talk to you soon!

January 12, 1997

Some Questions and Answers

What were you doing this summer before you started teaching?

When I first arrived in the Slovak Republic on June 6, 1996 I entered a three month training session. We spent from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. everyday learning the Slovak language, Slovak culture, and information about teaching in Slovakia. Also, during that time I lived with a host family in the capital city Bratislava. The days were very long, and things were tough for me since it had been years since I'd been a full-time student.

On July 17 I found out which town I would move to at the end of the summer. I was told that I would be living in a western town called Levice. It is located about two hours east of Bratislava. Approximately 35,000 people live in Levice. The town of Levice is 840 years old. In Levice we have a ruined castle as well as many old churches and even an historic synagogue.

After I learned I'd be moving to Levice at the end of August, I was also told that I would be teaching English at two schools. I would split my time between an elementary school and a high school so I would get to teach all age groups of students. A few days later I left for a week-long visit to Levice. During that time I met the teachers and principals I would be working with starting in September.

I traveled to Levice by train on July 22. When I arrived one of my future principals was waiting there for me with over a dozen roses. She used the flowers as a signal to let me know who she was. At first I was shown my new apartment. As a Peace Corps Volunteer I am not paid a salary by my school as the other teachers are. Instead, my school provides me with a place to live and Peace Corps gives me a living allowance each month which I use to buy food, household materials, stamps, etc.

What is your apartment like?

My apartment is very nice. It has a bedroom, a kitchen and a bathroom. It would be considered very big for a one-bedroom New York apartment. I have two beds so that I may have friends to come visit. I also have a desk and a table with two arm chairs. Like some New York apartments, Slovak apartments usually don't have closets. Instead we have something called a skrina. It's like a portable closet where I can hang my clothes. In my kitchen I have a table with four chairs plus a gas stove, sink and tiny refrigerator.

Most Slovak bathrooms are separated into two rooms. One is for the toilet and one for the sink and shower. Fortunately, I have all of those things in one room which makes it seem a bit more like home. I have no washing machine, and there are no Laundromats in Slovakia so I must wash everything by hand. Washing clothes isn't so difficult, but washing sheets and towels can take a really long time.

I live on the fourth floor on a panelak. A panelak is just a big apartment building. It resembles some apartments in New York except that it's made almost entirely from concrete. My apartment number is #13. In Slovakia the ground floor is not the first floor, instead it's called the prizemie so actually I live on the fifth floor.

How about school?

I must walk to school everyday. It takes about 20 minutes. It's just like when I lived in Park Slope and walked to MS 88. I often see my students walking to school just as I use to see my students in Brooklyn. My high school and elementary school are just across the street from each other. They look very similar to our old school buildings in New York. Both schools have three floors just like MS 88.

At the elementary school I teach 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. All of my students at the elementary school have been studying English for at least 2 years. Some of them have been studying for five years or more and are quite good.

At the high school I teach 8 groups of Seniors (12th graders), one group of Juniors (11th graders) and one class called Sekunda (they are 6th graders who have been allowed to go to high school early, sort of like how you have a few 6th graders at MS 88). Some of the high schoolers have been studying English for 8 years. Those students are so good that I sometimes forget that they are not American teenagers.

I am sending you some pictures of my students this week. It should take about 3 weeks for them to arrive. Also I am looking for a detailed map of Slovakia to send you so that you can locate some of the places I've visited.

What's up for our next chat?

For our next chat I'll tell you about some of my students and about the things they like to do. Please send me questions you have for my students. For example, would you like to know what TV programs they like or what type of music they listen to?

You may want to further research European Castles in the library or on-line.

Talk to you soon!

January 12, 1997

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Story Source: Personal Web Page

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