Rotary and the US Congress partner in a program called Open World. The Denton-Lake Cities Rotary Club members met the Education delegates from Kazakhstan over breakfast.
We learned about the culture, languages, religion, and more, of the Kazakhstan people. Later that evening, we all ate, drank, and sang in honor of our guests at Steve's Wine Bar.
The Open World program brings current and future leaders from post-Soviet countries to the United States. Delegates complete an intensive, short-term program that relates to their professional or civic work. Observing their professional counterparts in the U.S., they get a firsthand look at the American system of democracy and free enterprise. Rotary clubs host Open World delegates in their homes. Through this cultural exchange, delegates experience American family and community life, and the Rotary hosts broaden their international understanding. Sponsored by Congress, Open World emphasizes accountability, transparency, and citizen involvement in government. These visits help develop a network of leaders who understand how American communities tackle contemporary issues.
The Kazakhstan Delegates were Laura Butabayeva - Director of the Inclusive Education Center, Sergey Klyuyev - Teacher/Psychologist specializing in Autism, Zhanar Nurseitova- Senior Instructor / Trainer on Inclusive Eductation, Galiya Zhanayeva - Senior Specialist Human Potential Development Dept. of Turkestan Region, Samat Zhumabekov - Head of Preschool, General Secondary Education & Training Office.
Their theme was Inclusive Education so the five team members were all involved in special education at different levels in their country. Their team leader also had a background working for children’s charities. They were also joined by a professional translator for their vocational visits.
Former Denton High School Interact club advisor switches from his business suit to his Santa suit
to present gifts to the delegates after leading them around Denton ISD all day.
The Kazakhstan Delegates visited the McMath Middle School, DISD. McMath principal, Dr. Buddy Dunworth (elf sweater) and Dr. Jay Weidenbach (in Kazak ballcap) participated in a question and answer session.
Denton-Lake Cities Rotary applied to be a host for this program and specifically requested this vocation knowing that it would be a great fit with all of Denton’s educational institutions.
They met with teachers and administrators at UNT, TWU, Lake Dallas ISD and Denton ISD. They also visited two specialty Autism training centers. Some of their cultural experiences included the Holiday Lighting festival on Denton’s square, a rodeo in Ft. Worth’s stockyards, the Dallas Arboretum and view of the skyline from Reunion Tower and the Holiday ICE exhibit at Grapevine’s Gaylord Hotel.

Visit our photo journal by clicking here. Many wonderful memories were made between DLCRC members and the delegates.