De Ambelt Zwolle is a special education school specialized in teaching children with learning-, development- and/or psychological disorders. “This description however regularly results in students not feeling proud to be in special education. It disparages their self-esteem and that is not fair”, thus Dennie Boxem, CKV teacher and mentor of the school band; “especially these students have incredible talents!” To show (off) their incredible talents Boxem initiated to record an album in November 2012.
In 2013 twenty students displayed their talents in the studios of Deltion College Zwolle. Here they recorded the music album ‘This Is Special’ under the supervision of Deltion teacher Henk Mekkring and his student Steven Kroon. The CD contained creative covers (like a metal-reggae-ska version of the pop song ‘Paparazzi’ by Lady Gaga), as well as own songs by Wytse Visser. Famous rapper Rico and beat maker Seven League Beats contributed to the album. Colleague Jamilla Op den Kamp organized the CD booklet. The photography was done by Jeroen Keep. The complete Havo section of De Ambelt Hengeveld College sold the albums for €10,- a piece. In December 2013 a large group of ‘This Is Special’-students travelled to Leeuwarden to see the DJ’s Giel Beelen, Paul Rabbering and Coen Swijnenberg in ‘The House of Glass’ of Serious Request; Holland largest charity event. Here they donated an amount of €10.040,-. Boxem got interviewed by DJ Paul Rabbering on live national television. One of Wytse Vissers songs was played on national radio.
From that year on ‘This Is Special’ was held annually. The project aims to stimulate and display the cultural talents of students of special education De Ambelt, and raises money for charity at the same time.
In 2017 ‘This Is Special’ won the third price of De Nationale Onderwijsprijs, provincie Overijssel (INOP).