Posted: 03.10.2023 16:51:00

Purpose-made lessons

A teacher from Klichev, Artyom Anisimov, runs the Young Patriot patriotic club, which is growing into a regional-scale project

The special forces uniform on the head of the military-patriotic club of Klichev school No. 2, Artyom Anisimov, acts like a magnet on boys and girls. When the guys from Young Patriot go to their classes in red berets, reminiscent of maroon ones, the schoolchildren see them off with an enthusiastic look. Artyom Anisimov shares his personal observation of the effect the club had in the city, “We were able to interest not only children, but also their parents. We hold the same sports events for the whole family. The military registration and enlistment office, for example, began to help us with drill training, and the police department is generally going to take us under its wing. This means that we are doing a very important thing that unites us all.”

All students are gifted

The training programme for today is air gun shooting, boxing and drill training. The guys all have one dream — to reach the finals of the national military-patriotic game Orlyonok. Last year they became the strongest team in their district.
Left hook, right hook — the club leader is competently watching the sparring of ninth-graders Violetta Zenovich and Nikita Prorvich. Artyom Anisimov is a candidate master of sports in Thai boxing. He comes from the village of Dmitrievka. He admits that from personal experience he knows perfectly well how the attraction of the very teacher who is able to determine your path in life works, “When I was in high school, a physical education teacher came to our rural school. I remember being surprised that a physical education teacher could be so young. And even then I decided that I wanted to get an education, return to my district and interest the children so that they would not wander around the street and grow up to be good people.”
Artyom Anisimov considers all his students gifted, “Violetta did weightlifting with us. And she gave all physical education teachers a head start in disassembling and assembling a Kalashnikov assault rifle at a regional event, her result was 12 seconds.”
Violetta herself, it seems, is not a fan of bragging. The girl admits that she would also like to become a physical education teacher. Tenth-grader Nikita Khrapko, like Violetta, was among the first to enrol in the military-patriotic school club. The guy intends to enter the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs following the example of his cousins, “I want to protect my fellow citizens in the future. Artyom Yuryevich tells us about serving in the army in special forces. Have you seen his ‘For Dedicated Service’ badge? Of course, he is an example for us!”
Tenth-grader Nikolai Rzhivutsky does not plan, like many guys from the Young Patriot club, to connect his life with either the police or the army. He is interested in cybersecurity, but believes that good physical shape makes a man beautiful, regardless of profession, “We have horisontal bars, barbells, and exercise machines. I already bench press 50 kilogrammes. We often go to various rallies of patriotic clubs and see the level of training of our peers, there is a lot of competition. Therefore, we all decided that for the next Orlyonok game we will prepare in such a way that the Kovalyovites will be known throughout the country.”

Live tutorial

At the entrance to the school yard there is a monument to Hero of the Soviet Union Filipp Kovalev. The school bears his name. He commanded a group of demolitionists and took part in the partisan movement. The Klichev District is a unique page in the annals of the Great Patriotic War. It was a partisan region; there were 18 thousand partisans on its territory. The legendary special squad Slavny was stationed in the local forests — special forces of the war years, known for successful operations behind enemy lines. Two years ago, after a large-scale reconstruction, the Usakino Memorial Complex of Partisan Glory was opened, where tourists come and historical reconstructions are carried out.
Therefore, for local schoolchildren, their home region is like a living textbook of patriotic education.
“Artyom Yuryevich, let’s go on a hike in the Usakino forests! Over the weekend we had a bike ride, and the class went to the Broken Hut monument. There are so many routes for our club, and you don’t have to go far. The volunteer team also has enough addresses: what a good concert it turned out to be in a nursing home,” Karina Adakimchik suggests during the discussion of the club’s immediate plans. 
Karina collected information about her great-grandfather, who was awarded the For Courage medal for the school project Hero’s Desk.  In the office where the Young Patriots classes take place, in the near future each desk will become personalised. This will be a page dedicated to the hero of the Great Patriotic War with his biography and photographs, printed directly on the surface of the desks.


Ranks will be replenished

Today there are 20 guys in the Young Patriot club, but ranks will be replenished in the near future. After almost the entire fifth grade spent a shift at the Young Patriot summer school camp, all the students wanted to join the club. They even had to rewrite the charter, the head of the club says, “Previously, the age limit was 14 years old, but parents began to bring first-graders here. I’m already thinking that we need to open a junior group; people are even applying from a neighbouring school. Our school also intends to become a resource centre for other educational institutions in the region to exchange experiences in patriotic education.”
You can understand the guys’ enthusiasm: I must admit, I wanted to test my strength in putting on a gas mask, shooting a pistol and driving radio-controlled tanks.
“It was teachers and I who pooled our money to buy several toy combat vehicles. We drew tank tracks on paper, during breaks we organise battles on each floor and choose winners. So the children have no time to sit on their phones or rush through the corridors,” Artyom Anisimov reveals pedagogical secrets.
When the kids left, the teacher admitted that the children were asking to go on a hike, not just to bake potatoes over a fire, “We became very friendly, they trust me and, probably, want to discuss some of their problems and ask for advice in an environment conducive to communication. My friends sometimes say that modern teenagers are not interested in anything, and I rush to convince them: ‘Indeed, I work with children — they are even more capable than you and me!’.”

By Elena Kukshinskaya

Photos by Andrei Sazonov