Ahrensbök is part of the district of Ostholstein. With 8,400 inhabitants .Due to its historical development it has been the economic center of a bigger rural area live in Ahrensbök. The municipality is surrounded by forests and fields. The surrounding towns Eutin (in the north of Ahrensbök), the city of Lübeck (in the south) and the town of Bad Segeberg (in the west) are easily reachable by car within 15 minutes, as well as the municipality of Scharbeutz at the coast of the Baltic Sea.
Ahrensbök is twinned with the following municipalities/towns:
These national and international relations provide active cultural exchange between the municipalities. Still, those multicultural efforts of Ahrensbök have been successfully implemented, supported by the extraordinary work of the local associations for (inter-)national relations, other clubs, associations and societies as well as the local fire brigades that contribute to cultural understanding. Ahrensbök was awarded the “Europadiplom”, in 1995, and the “Europafahne” (European flag), in 1998, both important steps of the “Europapreis” (i.e. Europe Prize, an award of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe). In this context the international effort about the European Union and the effort in cultural understanding of the municipality of Ahrensbök was honoured in an excellent way.
Best practice examples of inclusion:
“Inclusion in the area of education”
The “Arnesboken-Schule” is an inclusive school, which means that all children/students are being educated in the same class (es), irrespective of their qualification or precondition. In our municipality the children/students are educated inclusively in the “Arnesboken-Schule” (Gemeinschaftsschule = comprehensive school), Haus für Jugend und Familie (after-school-care) and in the Kindergarten. In that way, the children are integrated in collective social life from nursery age on.
Our students are being taught that everybody is different, that these differences are enriching and that every student has his/her own weaknesses and strengths
Following the concept of inclusion, all students are educated within the same school classes.Consultations, arrangements and exchange of teacher colleagues with the specially trained colleagues for students with special needs are an important part of inclusion and of the concept of prevention (of behavior or learning problems)
The following studying techniques and choices for learning are offered in order to consider the different learning preconditions and the different individual paces of learning:
The concept of inclusion is also connected to children with social and emotional difficulties. Support is being given by:
The extent of the measures, listed above, depends on the human resources of the school teaching and supporting staff. In exceptional cases single support measures can be cancelled. However, the support for dyslexia and lessons of German as a second language will be given.
The “Arnesboken-Schule” is a school with full-day program, the after-school program being operated by the “Offene Ganztagsschule” where children can be taken care of from 7am to 5pm. Homework tutoring and various courses take place within the opening hours (beginning with lunch and continuing throughout the afternoon).
Support/assistance/methods at the secondary school level of the Arnesboken-Schule:
Which projects, experience or institutions have impressed you during the In-Town Project
Emphasized as very special and positive:
All In-Town encounters and meetings, the lovely, friendly and open atmosphere of all participants and the very positive contact with each other
How could further improve the inclusion policy in your country in the future?
Ostholstein should become a region in which all people – with more or less challenges, with handicaps and without –, people of different age, gender or ethnic background are welcome as citizens, guests and customers and are sure to participate in social life – in a barrier-free way.
The project “Ostholstein für alle – bereit für Inklusion und Barrierefreiheit” (i.e. Ostholstein for everybody – ready for inclusion and barrier-free access) is pursuing this goal. It is about sensitising people and institutions for this topic and advertising that inclusion and barrier-free access are concerning everybody. We want to develop a plan, a strategy, how we can approach this ideal in Ahrensbök. We have extended our knowledge in practice by the experience we gained by the In-Town project. We want to try to implement barrier-free access and participation in all parts of (social) life in our municipality and community, as far as it is possible for us.
Inclusion and barrier-free access have become applicable law by the UN-Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2007/2008) and it is to be implemented in all social areas/ranges.
Statement about the In-Town project
Especially in this day and age we think it is especially important that we Europeans exchange international experience in this form, that was realized, and to encourage and strengthen each other. Alongside with the discussed topic of inclusion, getting to know the people and their cultures in other countries are among that, as well as, respecting their culture, establishing ties, developing more intense cultural understanding for each other and even building friendships.
What further topics could be exchanged within our twin town and
sister city networks?
Further topics in the future could be “immigration”, “changes in the European
society/societies from the point of view of children and teenagers”, or – very generally – “the topic of education”.
The municipality of Ahrensbök hopes for all participants and involved people that we all will be able to exchange with each other and support each
other via our newly available network. Our dialogue can definitely be expanded on further social topics.