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Dutch Language School Five years ago my husband and I moved from The Netherlands to Florida. What was intended to be an adventure for three years, has extended to 5 years already. After five years, we realized we weren’t ready to go back, so we applied for a Greencard and we were lucky. In other words we don’t see ourselves going backto The Netherlands any time soon, but The Netherlands is and will continue to be important to us. After extending our family with two beautiful kids the importance of the Dutch language and culture is growing even more. Our children have many friends, including Dutch. And these children, and all other Dutch and Flemish children in South Florida are the reason for my new initiative; creating a Dutch Language school in South Florida. Residing abroad, many parents find it important that their children will not be left behind in the Dutch language and culture. Many parents are trying to teach their children at home, with the support of Dutch books to read, songs to sing and cultural holidays, such as Sinterklaas and Queensday, to celebrate. But not everything can be taught at home. Therefore the Dutch school will be a great help. Dutch education abroad has many advantages: A good command of the native language reinforces the identity of the children and facilitates learning a foreign language; Contacts with family and friends in Netherlands or Belgium are easier to maintain; A child who mastered Dutch well, will usually feel accepted socially and emotionally faster after returning to the Netherlands or Belgium; Having obtained a Dutch Language certificate, students with foreign qualifications will be accepted more easily at universities in The Netherlands or Belgium; In a group, children can learn much from eachother, they are often eachother’s teacher. I have taken the initiative to investigate the feasibility of founding a Dutch Language school in South Florida. Starting a Dutch school brings with it a significant amount of work: legislation, foundation or association, school location, finding teachers, acquiring teaching materials, recruiting students and financial responsibilities. In the Netherlands, an organization called "Dutch Education Abroad’ (NOB) supports initiatives for founding a Dutch Language school. At this moment The NOB supports over 260 schools around the world, including 12 in the United States. For information about the NOB I refer to www.stichtingnob.nl But with the NOB and myself alone a Dutch school can not be established. To actually start a school there has to be enough interest. Both in the number of students as well as in the number of volunteers and teachers. Therefore you will receive a survey which questions related to your interest in a Dutch Language school. I also would like to know if there are parents in this region who have a teaching degree and/or would like to participate in the initiative group for the establishment of the Dutch school. A school also needs a good financial basis for it’s existence to be able to exist. Besides a grant from the NOB, a tuition will be requiredand companies and/or individuals who wish to support the school are welcome. I have already discussed the establishment of a Dutch Language school with the Dutch Consulate General, which/who fully supports this initiative. If there is enough interest a meeting with parents will be organized to give you more background information and on how to become involved in the creation of the school. In the meantime I will keep you informed of any developments. For the record: the goal is to establish a Dutch Language and Cultural Education School (NTC). On an NTC-school students are provided lessons once a week for 3 hours, in addition to the curriculum that they follow locally or at an international school. The initiative is still in it’s infancy, but my aim is to say in about a year: "Welcome to the Dutch Language school in South Florida." For information, questions and registration for the initiative group, you can contact: Marleen Ariens- Tessel 954 389 1704 or email@example.com.
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