Group continuing to connect students with French language, culture

The Sylvan Lake chapter of Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is continuing its work to connect local students

The Sylvan Lake chapter of Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is continuing its work to connect local students with French language and culture. The group held its annual general meeting Apr. 15 to discuss the coming year.

Members learned they raised close to $1,500 last year to help Sylvan Lake schools host French cultural activities and provide pertinent resources.

The money came from various fundraisers, including the sale of food at the schools.

While the meeting attracted a smaller turnout than was hoped for, Sylvan Lake chapter President Cherie Cardinal wants to see significant growth in the organization over the next few months.

The more fundraising help the group receives, the more support for French language and cultural activities and resources will be provided, she said.

“What we’re fundraising toward are the kinds of things that we know the schools cannot afford to bring in.”

Covering the cost of entertainment such as a French-language performance by the Toronto-based DuffleBag Theatre Company is just one way the group contributes to French immersion in schools, she added.

“Things like that are quite costly, and so we usually try and co-ordinate things with the school so that we can do that.”

Cardinal feels there are many benefits for students who partake in French immersion.

CPF-funded programs and activities allow students a different look at French culture, and complement what they learn about it in the classroom, she said.

“(They) get to see the French language in a performance or in interactions, which is different than what they learn every day in school. It just enhances what they’re learning.”

CPF’s Sylvan Lake chapter meets about seven times a year, and is currently seeking more members.

“We’re looking for ideas around fundraising and just cultural activities we could bring to the community,” said Cardinal. “If people have ideas to share, they could. We’re open to that.”

The group offers information sessions, and organizers are looking at implementing introductory French language classes for parents this fall.

It also offers free memberships to families of Kindergarten-aged French immersion students.

More information is available by contacting Cardinal at cherie.cardinal@shaw.ca.