Riis Settlement Danish Exchange Program In Sixth Year
A group of Danish Students and their host families enjoying a visit to the iconic Empire State Building as they take part in the sixth edition of Riis Settlement’s Danish Cultural Exchange Program with residents of Queens. Since its inception, the program has sought to increase intercultural understanding and provide opportunity by allowing young people from each community to visit each other on alternating summers.
The Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House, Inc. (www.riissettlement.org) is a leading community-based non-profit service provider in Western Queens serving as a catalyst for change by supporting residents in their efforts to achieve greater success in life and work.
From June 30 through July 7, six high school students from the small Danish town of Ribe, birthplace of Jacob Riis, spent a week taking in the sights, sounds and rhythms of New York, including the Empire State Building and other top attractions. Initiated in 2006, the exchange is a partnership with the Ribe Cathedral School - the oldest school in Denmark, dating back to 1145. As in past years, the Danish visitors stayed and shared dinners with Riis Settlement youth and their families during their time in Queens.
Next year, the six youth hosts from New York will head to off to Ribe and Copenhagen, where they will reconnect with their Danish friends and stay with their families. The will visit farms, the coastal marshlands, Legoland, and the Tivoli Gardens, and become familiar with the enchanting medieval birthplace of the pioneering social reformer and photojournalist Jacob Riis, who helped found Riis Settlement in the late 19th century.
Founded in 1899, Riis Settlement provides integrated educational, social, cultural and health services to more than 1600 individuals each year. Riis Settlement’s award winning programs support community members of all ages- from after-school programs for kids to English-language classes for immigrants to health services and meals for senior citizens. Riis Settlement continues to seek private and corporate support for continuation of the Exchange, which provides an invaluable opportunity for intercultural education and understanding to youth from underserved communities.