Concord High Students come out to welcome German peers to N.H.

  • Concord High student Ella Diers waves holding her “Hallo Emelie” sign as she greets all the GAPP (German American Partnership Program) students from Maximilian Kolbe Gymnasium (high school) in Wegberg, Germany on Thursday night as they arrive at the Concord bus terminal on Stickney Ave. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Ella Diers hugs Emelie Dinges moments after she stepped down from the bus. The two had been communicating through social media for seven months before meeting Thursday. This summer Concord students will live and attend school in Wegberg, Germany for a month.

Published: 9/27/2019 4:35:26 PM
Modified: 9/27/2019 4:35:16 PM

On Thursday night, two groups of students – one from Concord the other from German – met for the first time after communicating over social media for seven months.

As part of an academic and cultural exchange – 25 German students arrived in Concord and met with their host families who they will live with for the next month.

The exchange – called the German American Partnership Program – began in 1981 when then teacher Yvonne Crocker established this international connection between Concord High School and the Maximilian Kolbe Gymnasium (high school) in Wegberg, Germany.

Every other autumn, in years ending with odd numbers, German students come here and stay in the homes of selected families and attend Concord High School. The following summer, Concord students travel to Germany, live for one month with their host family.

“It will not only deepen and enhance the participants’ knowledge and appreciation of the host country, but also enable young people to become more aware of their own culture and values,” Concord High German teacher Laura Ernst said.

The group arrived in time for Concord High homecoming, and started off their visit with a Friday morning pep-rally.

“We don’t have anything like that,” German student Malte Gerhards said.

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