PDT Staff Writer
The students of Wanda Dengel’s second grade class at Notre Dame Elementary participated in a Schultüten Ceremony Thursday morning at Holy Redeemer Activity Center, on their first day of school.
“We’ve been doing this ceremony on the first day of school since 2008, after my first study tour in Germany,” Dengel said.
Dengel said the ceremony stirs excitement in the students to visit Germany. She said some of the activities after the ceremony include a reading of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
“We compare Germany with the United States with the number states Germany has compared to the number of states we have. We compare the kinds of sports activities, between the two countries, such as soccer, that’s very popular in Germany,” Dengel said. “This way the students can see there are a lot of similarities, between the two countries. Today’s children are no longer just in their own communities, they are global citizens.”
She said with today’s technology the students can have the world at their fingertips.
“It’s important for the students to understand other cultures,” Dengel said. “They quickly learn, children in other countries are not very different from them. The students love to see how we are not so different form other cultures. We speak different languages but, we are alike in so many ways. Those types of things help the children become more accepting of those who many be different from them.”
She said once the students learn of the similarities then the likenesses can bring people together and promote understanding.
The contents of the Schultüten included a German chocolate bar, some gummi Ampelman that are only sold in Berlin. A German coloring book, bookmark and some other German-related items. Adam Streitenberger, pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church, was also on hand to assist Dengel during the ceremony. Streitenberger was asked to join in the ceremony because of his German heritage.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or email@example.com.