Behind the Scenes
“Germany on line one.”

NID launches international partnership

When Need in Deed’s phone rang one morning in early September, the caller ID simply said, “Germany.” On the other end of the line was Claudia Gorihs of the Volunteer Center in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, an organization that runs service-learning professional development programs for teachers in the region.

Claudia was coming to the United States on a non-profit exchange to learn more about how US organizations foster civic engagement in their communities and schools. Although we were not on the official itinerary, she had heard about Need in Deed through colleagues and wanted to know whether she might come meet with us and learn more about our work.

Two weeks later, Need in Deed program staff hosted Claudia, two teachers from the Werner-Stephan School in Berlin, and their translator for a fascinating two-hour meeting about the challenges and best practices for helping teachers implement service-learning in public schools. At the end of the conversation, we learned that there was an opening in the exchange program that brought the group to the States, and we jumped at the chance to continue a relationship with our new friends.

Now an official partner in the CitActive program, we are currently working out the details of a year-long partnership between Need in Deed, ProjectEmS, and the Werner-Stephan School. Our plan is for Need in Deed to provide consultation and support to Claudia as she develops a service-learning training program for teachers at Werner-Stephan for the 2010-2011 school year.

Pictured left to right are Claudia Gorish and members of the EmS staff. The acronym EmS stands for “Engagement makes School” in German.