Wittenborg Lecturer and Students Organise Ice Skating Excursion for Local Kids
Ice Skating at the Jaap Eden Ice Skating Rink in Amsterdam
On March 19, Wittenborg lecturer Amy Abdou organised an excursion to the Jaap Eden ice skating rink in Amsterdam for 11 pupils (ages 10-12) from Buurt Talentontwikkeling (BTO), a local social enterprise that offers homework support to primary school pupils whose parents lack the financial resources. These pupils participate in the weekly English language lessons that are run by Wittenborg student volunteers. The lessons allow Wittenborg students to spend time playing games and helping the pupils to improve their English. As a result of their diverse backgrounds, the pupils are often able to speak English at a relatively high level and are curious about other cultures. The programme aims to capitalise on this by allowing the pupils to practise their English language skills in a safe and semi-structured environment.
While the skating was not an official part of the programme, extracurricular activities allow the pupils further English language practice in an informal setting. According to Abdou, "The idea for the event came from the kids themselves. It's important for youngsters to realise they have agency in education and that their ideas will be heard."
Abdou and the pupils were accompanied by Wittenborg Amsterdam students Isaac Pattison and Michal Jaroslaw Klimkiewicz. When asked why he decided to volunteer, Isaac said that "I like ice skating and I saw an opportunity to share my passion with children who might benefit from it." He added that "the kids were awesome. A few of them told me it was their first time ice skating, and I admired how fearless they were. They just went for it."
by Amy Abdou and Marius Zürcher