By Amanda Amsel
A local high school recently held a special celebration to commemorate an international partnership that has lasted three decades.
Grove City High School’s German American Partnership Program recently celebrated its 30th anniversary by hosting a party. Taking place on May 6, the event welcomed German students to America and celebrated the program.
The program is a partnership between Grove City High School and Max-Planck School in Heidenheim, Germany. Students and staff from both schools visit each other’s campuses for a few weeks to learn about their culture.
“The German students and staff come in the spring, while we go over in the summer,” said Will Kuhrt, German teacher at Grove City High School and organizer of the program. “Students must be in the 10th grade or higher to participate and must be studying German.”
At the celebration, former students who participated in the program were in attendance, as well as German students, current Grove City High School students that are participating in the program and local and international dignitaries.
“Everyone here should be commended for their efforts,” said Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage. “I would like to thank past, present and future participants.”
During the event, proclamations were given to the program by Grove City, The US Department of State and the German Consulate in Chicago.
“I tried to reach out to Heidi Klum to have her come here,” Kuhrt said to the laughing crowd. “She was not able to make it, but she did call me and extend her congrats on all you have done.”
The program, which is completely self-sufficient, relies on the support of host families in both cities, as well as a grant from the German government and local fundraisers.
“We are so thrilled the program has been going on this long and look forward to another 30 years,” Kuhrt said. “For America it promotes the value of a German education and for German students it really opens up a lot of doors to see what other opportunities are outside of Germany.”
Kuhrt said friendships are also developed that last a lifetime.
“We even had a girl who participated in the program and met a guy and now lives their permanently with him,” Kuhrt said. “That might turn out to be the program’s first marriage.”
Currently, the Max-Planck School staff and students will enjoy Columbus for a few more days, before heading off to New York City before they go home.
For more information on the Grove City High School German American Partnership Program, contact Will Kuhrt at firstname.lastname@example.org.