Willkommen in Atlanta! German Teachers Visit APS for Cultural Exchange

Willkommen in Atlanta! (Welcome to Atlanta!) A group of 16 educators and administrators from Saxony, Germany visited Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy and Therrell High School on Oct. 18 to gain insight about curriculum and programs and learn more about education in America. It’s all part of a two-week cultural exchange program.

The group included representatives from the German American Cultural Foundation, a non-profit organization that is funding two part-time teachers who will launch German language programs at CSKWYLA and Therrell.

“We’re realizing our vision, and our vision is that CSKYWLA scholars will not just be globally conscious and college and career ready, but they will also be bilingual,” said Eulonda Washington, CSKYWLA principal. “Our charge is that students will come to us in sixth grade and they will be exposed to four different languages: French, Spanish, German and Japanese. Once they transition to the seventh grade, they will embrace the language of choice and they will have that language from seventh grade to 12th grade, and they will complete the assessment needed to confirm bilingual certification and biliteracy. We’re super excited about that. This partnership with the German American Council somewhat solidifies that vision and provides us with the funding needed to continue with our German program. We’re paving the way for the biliteracy program for our scholars.”

The group also included representatives from USA Global Education Services, which is providing the exchange and professional learning opportunity for eight German teachers Oct. 12-25. The teachers stay with host families in Decatur City/DeKalb and Stone Mountain and spend two weeks learning about American life, education and culture. The program is a collaboration with the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation in Berlin, a non-profit that fosters German-American relations and strengthens the unique ties between the two countries.

On Oct. 18, the Germany educators toured the CSKYWLA and Therrell campuses, ate an authentic southern cuisine courtesy of the Therell Culinary Arts Program (the menu: sweat potatoes, black eyed peas, fried chicken, hot water cornbread, and iced tea), and witnessed teachers and students actively engaged in the learning process.

“This grant we received from the German American Cultural Foundation was very important to our school,” said Terrell Awak, assistant principal at Therrell High School. “We’re one of two schools selected in the state to receive this grant, and this allowed us to start to offer a third language here at Therrell High School. This year, we started with our first cohort of German I students. Next year, we’re hoping to build the program so that we’ll have a full cohort of German I and German II students. This is a unique opportunity because we were just authorized as an IB school, specifically for the career program. German is a language that’s important to business, especially here in Atlanta.”

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