No school desks for the first-year students of Nova College in Haarlem, but today they learned to walk on a catwalk from drag queen Chelsea. But there was more to do during the first citizenship day ‘Be there together’ of the vocational school. About 1,200 students could choose from twenty-six workshops with citizenship themes such as sexuality, ethnic profiling and dealing with money.
In addition to attending the workshops, the day is about meeting other students. “You can become a dancer, hairdresser or chef here,” says teacher and co-organizer Marleen Klooswijk. “On this day we want students from different courses to meet each other and to get out of the bubble of their own course.”
Silas Hafkamp is from the Young Society organization. They have been asked by Nova College to give a number of workshops. “We offer workshops on various themes such as money matters, sexuality and drug use. But we also tell what boys need to know when they turn eighteen,” says Silas.
According to the organization, for example, not all new adults learn at school or at home that they can register for social housing or are entitled to student financing or health care benefits. “We try to inform students about this in a fun way. Without it coming from a book and becoming boring,” Silas explains.
Check out the video below in which we follow students during the workshop on drug use and see how they walk on the catwalk.
It is the first time that this day has been organized and the organization hopes that it will be continued. “This is a pilot,” Marleen concludes. “But we really hope that it works well and that we can continue to do it.” Laughing: “Hopefully the school will say: again next year. That would be fantastic.”