Bulldogs Form Relationships Across the Globe
The German American Partnership Program at Centennial continues to see growth.
October 8, 2018
Sabine Moosbrugger, a German teacher here at Centennial High School, is incredibly dedicated to her work to the point where it is certainly inspiring. It seems as though she treats all of the projects she puts under her supervision, with the utmost importance but there is one program she seems to take great pride in, the German exchange program. With good reason too, the German American Partnership Program, or GAPP for short, is a very cool and exciting program that has been steadily growing within the past ten years it has been at Centennial.
The GAPP is a program that is supported by both the American and German governments. It’s a nonprofit with the goal of having a greater understanding between the two countries that can lead to more friendships and an improvement of language skills. All of these things and more, Frau Moosbrugger is ensuring that each student, whether it be American or German, receives in spades, because according to her: “In times like these, we really need to understand each other and realize that Germany isn’t all lederhosen and sauerkraut, and America isn’t all cheeseburgers and HollyWood.”
While the GAPP program may be very successful now, it wasn’t always such a large program within the school. “My very first year with the GAPP exchange was 1986.”, she said when referring to how long she has been a part of the program. “I was a GAPP student myself from a partner school in Germany. We visited a school in Illinois, and so when I became a German teacher myself here in 2006 I decided that I was going to do the same thing.” Ultimately it was her own personal goal to spread the great experiences she had as a student herself, that lead her to start the program here at Centennial.
“In 2008 I picked up the partnership because the school in Illinois didn’t have a partner program anymore.” Thus, with those ideas in mind, she began the long process of building up the program. Now, ten years in, the program has grown drastically. This year, in particular, was very good for the GAP program. “In terms of quality, this year has been super successful. Everyone was happy, no one got hurt, other than a few colds no one got sick. The kids in Germany had a really nice time, and for the first time, the kids in Germany went to both Cologne and Berlin.” The fact that they could go to two towns in Germany was due to the relations with people who had already been a part of the program, such as Frau Moosbrugger’s teaching assistant as well as several others.
This was the sixth biennial exchange. Every other year, the program takes students from Germany and sends them to live with host families and sends off American students to go live with host families in Germany. One of the most important parts of the exchange program is making sure that everyone ends up in a good home. Frau Moosbrugger is always happy to see how the relationships between the student’s and their host families develop. “It’s always very interesting how friendships between families develop. We have families here who have hosted two, three, or even, six times. We have people who have sent their older siblings, then younger siblings, and we have a lot of international friendships that have developed.”
While everyone did enjoy themselves, this year wasn’t entirely the best for the program. “The group was a little bit smaller than usual this year to go to Germany. There were only eight students, because several students had family emergencies, or something happened.” With the unpredictability of students lives within the high school it’s expected to lose a few kids before a huge expedition like a trip to Germany, but even so, the amount that signed up to go this year was 14 while last year’s was 15. Frau Moosebrugger has plans to help this small decline in sign-ups.
What her true goal is, is to take as many students as she can (hopefully around 15 to 25). A big problem with taking that many people, however, is cost. “We do keep the cost very low, it’s $2,200, including flight transportation and everything. For some families though, that’s still pretty steep, so my goal in this tenth year is to possibly start an alumni fund, and scholarship those other students to go who otherwise couldn’t.” This plan could help many people, and could help grow the GAP program even bigger than it already is!
The GAPP program is a great way for students to make friends and to have new opportunities to explore the globe that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to have. For Mrs. Moosbrugger though, it means more than that. She holds this program very deep within her heart and she cares for it deeply. According to her “It’s my own personal little contribution to world peace.”