LINDEN — Linden High School students, parents, teachers and administrators attended the 40th birthday celebration of the German American Partnership Program (G.A.P.P.) at the Goethe Institute in New York City on Saturday, Sept. 1. This program fosters the study of the German and English languages, increases intercultural awareness and understanding among German and American youth and forges long term friendships.
With more than 700 active school partnerships throughout Germany and the United States, G.A.P.P. is the central youth exchange link between American and German secondary school students. Each year more than 5,000 American students and teachers visit their partners in Germany and 8,000 German students and teachers are hosted by American families and schools, making the program one of the largest and most important peopleto-people connections between the U.S. and Germany.
The Linden High School G.A.P.P. exchange program was started by German teacher Mary Turbett. The first exchange occurred during the 2001-2002 school year. To date, Linden High School has had six successful exchanges with their partner school in Butzbach, Germany enabling over 100 Linden students the opportunity to live and study abroad.
Linden High School senior Ryan Bertani, who attended the celebration with his parents and participated in the exchange program last year, said “This was a life changing experience for me. Originally my plan was to study German for three years but after meeting my host family, the Steins, I am anxious to become fluent. I am truly grateful to Linden High School teachers Mr. Niehues and Ms. Hamilton for coordinating and chaperoning this exchange.”
Bertani is an International Baccalaureate student, who is also a member of the Linden High School soccer and track teams, a member of the National Honor Society and an officer of the German National Honor Society.
Linden High School teaches six world languages: German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Chinese. Active exchange programs are in place with Germany, France, Spain, Italy and China.