The American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) will honor Harrison High School teacher Amanda Beck with its GAPP Award at a ceremony in November. The award recognizes German educators who provide opportunities for their students to study abroad on short-term exchanges to Germany through the German American Partnership Program (GAPP).
Beck revived the exchange program at Harrison High School in 2009. As part of the bilateral school exchange, every two years Harrison students travel to Germany in July to get first-hand experience going to school with peers and staying with their families. Then, Harrison hosts the German students in the U.S. in September.
“I love GAPP because it extends language and cultural learning beyond our classroom walls and fosters incredible, lifelong connections between students, families and communities,” Beck says. “It's so amazing to watch young people grow in their understanding of themselves and the world and to use the communication skills we work so hard on in the classroom. Students are more than tourists in this type of experience, and being able to provide that for them is immensely rewarding. I also get to work closely with my German colleagues, which has led to some really amazing collaboration, and, more importantly, friendship.”
“With their dedication to excellence in German language instruction, these award recipients promote the transatlantic friendship between the US and German-speaking countries and foster the much needed intercultural awareness so their students can lead successful lives in a globalized world,” says Priscilla Layne, president of the American Association of Teachers of German.