Old Ukrainian School

Photo Albums


Positively 29th Street

On the following pages are some assorted photos that I found in my mother’s photos albums of our Ukrainian school and its activities. 

The school began its existence in rooms scattered throughout the first St. Mary’s church, located on 29th street in Detroit.   There was a stage in the basement, with a pole right in the middle of the front of it (see photo above).

When the church moved to its current location on Evergreen in Southfield, MI, in 1972, a proper school was built as part of the hall complex (which included a large stage with modern lighting and audio).  There was a kindergarten, “preparatory” class, and grades 1 through 10.  There were lots of students, with classes often filled to overflowing. The school was conducted solely in Ukrainian; classes included reading, writing, history, literature, grammar, geography, music and religion.

Music and performing were an important part of the time we spent at Ukrainian school.  The Ukrainians are a very musical people–there are folk songs for every occasion you can imagine, and no wedding or other social event is complete without a round of singing.

At the school, we memorized lots and lots of poetry (some of which I can recite to this day), practiced singing, and were involved in frequent school pageants – Ялинка (Yalynka, a winer pageant), Shevchenko’s birthday, Mother’s Day. the end of the school year.  I recall going to extra rehearsals for weeks on end in the elate fall, spending my Wednesday evenings getting ready for the Yalynka (I was a snowflake for may years). 

Our school bandura choir (run by our music teacher, Mr. Kytasty) performed not only at the church, but at other venues on Ukrainian holidays, other local churches, and even on a televised local Christmas special.

And who could forget our school trips – to Upland Hills farm, to the Prehistoric Forest and Stagecoach Stop in the Irish Hills, to Seaworld (when our bus broke down), and to the Kellogg cereal plant in Battle Creek?  Best of all were the school picnics at Mrs. Romanchuk’s house.  She was our beloved 2nd grade teacher, and she lived out in the country, where she had several ponds good for swimming.

I’m almost beginning to miss it........

(If you have old photos you would like to add to this site, please contact me via the link below.)

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