In 2009 – The 400 Year Anniversary Henry Hudson Set Sail from Amsterdam & the 750th Anniversary of Amersfoort, NL
Representatives from Amersfoort Netherlands contacted the Amersfort School of Social Awareness earlier this year to ask if we were interested in collaborating on a cultural exchange with the schools in the Amersfoort District in the Netherlands. Since our school had just become a Magnet School for Global & Ethical Studies and our $100,000 technology grant just came through, we were thrilled. We have met with the ANYtime-US-NL committee and have plans for our schools to collaborate on blog projects over this academic year culminating in a Cultural Fair in June 2009 to celebrate the 750th anniversary of the founding of Amersfoort, NL and the quadricentennial of Henry Hudson’s voyage to the New World from Amsterdam.
Last week, Koen Steenbergen & Sabine van Erkel came to visit our school and kicked off a cookie contest that was happening concurrently in the Netherlands. We talked about our historical connection with the Netherlands here in New York and Brooklyn and our future connection with “the two Amersforts.” With community support and careful planning, we could see a carnival-style celebration of the Hudson & Amersfoort Anniversaries right here in Avenue J’s Amersfort Park. (download PDF of ANYtime’s plans)
Yet again, the Internet has brought us a little closer in this every-shrinking world. A Google search turned up our school and the Amersfoort group contacted us through my Board of Ed e-mail account. To the Amerfoort group’s surprise, I speak Dutch (and lived in Amsterdam as a child) and my colleague Jenny Hobson, has a Dutch connection through her boyfriend. Jenny went to Amersfoort earlier in the year to visit their school and brought back letters and drawings that were bound into a picture book made by their students.