A short history of Dribbel

With special thanks to the author Marit Kramer

In 1983, the playgroup Dribbel started its history as two different playgroups, one in the national primary school, the Professor Casimir School, in the Drieboltzstraat and the other in the national primary school in the Van Nijenrode School. The first school had the nick name, Cazimiertje. Both play groups were started by a group of parents who were supported by the schools. The pre-school children needed a more challenging environment and the possibility to play with children of the same age. At that time there was only other playgroup, Nijntje in existence in Benoordenhout. The school’s need to attract new pupils to their schools was a motivating factor which led to schools creating the playgroups. The municipal council of The Hague supported the creation of the new playgroups but were not willing to subsidise them. Fortunately there was a group of enthusiastic parents who were willing to work on a voluntary basis for the playgroup. The municipal council provided a course for the parents called An introduction to Toddler Play Groups.

In 1985 the two schools, the Professor. Casimir School and the natioanl primary, the Van Nijenrode School were combined and became the natioanl primary school Benoordenhout, but in the early days both schools were still housed in sperate buildings. During the renovations of the school building on the Dreibholtzstraat both schools were temporarily located in the Van Nijenrodestraat school. After the renovations were completed both of the schools moved to the new school on the Dreibholztstraat. It was at this point that the playgroup got it’s present name, Dribbel.

Dribbel was housed in a portocabin in the grounds of the neighbouring secondary school, the Maerlandt Lyceum and could exist as there were no costs for the location. The playgroup proved to be an important source for new pupils for the new school. Parents made a small contribution which provided funds for the playgroup. Since it’s beginnings, a group of mothers and the dedicated team have always been the back bone of the playgroup. It has been due to their commitment that the playgroup has existed as the school does not have the financial resources to support Dribbel and it’s team.

In 1999 became an independent foundation and the Board was created of parents thus creating a more financially stable situation for the organisation

In June 2008 it seemed that Dribbel would have to permanently close it’s doors. The Maerlant Lyceum started renovations and the portocabin which housed Dribbel had to be removed from the school grounds. The team and a group of parents tried to find a solution to this problem. At the beginning of June, it was very uncertain whether the playgroup would open again after the summer holidays. However fortunately in September there was the good news that Dribbel could be housed in it’s present location in the Jonas Childrens’ Centre in the Bisschopstraat.

What is particularly special is that one of the original members from the playgroup in the Van Nijenrodeschool in 1983, José Keus, still works for Dribbel. José, together with the her two colleagues, ‘juf’ Annemiek en ‘juf’ Milou, form the enthusiastic Dribbel staff where toddlers can still come and play (even after over thirty years!).