Sherwood Park, AB. — March is Franco-Alberta month. And, to celebrate, French Immersion schools across Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) are finding fun and creative ways to embrace French culture through Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie 2021. "We look forward to March every year,” says Aidan Green, a Grade 10 student at Ardrossan Junior Senior High. “There are so many fun activities that help us learn about French culture in both Alberta and Canada." A sentiment Ashvyn Stray, a Grade 10 student at Ardrossan Junior Senior High, shares too: “The activities and being in a French Immersion program are great. It gives you the opportunity to interact with the francophone culture and lets you be fully immersed in a French environment.”
Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie is an annual festival celebrated nationwide to honour the French language and francophone culture from March 1-31. Through a host of lesson plans and activities focused on the francophone culture, the French language and the benefits of being bilingual in Canada, EIPS students experience first-hand francophone traditions. Some of this year’s highlights include a celebration of French celebrities, fleur-de-lis art projects, virtual guest speakers and performances by francophone musicians and comedians, and a tintamarre. Schools also hosted winter carnivals—similar to the Carnaval de Quebec—featuring special appearances from the Bonhomme Carnaval mascot, sleigh rides, ice sculpting, sled races and COVID-19 friendly food tastings with traditional French cuisines such as sugar cones and tire d’érable—hot maple syrup drizzled and hardened on snow.
“I think the food’s always a highlight for students, especially the sugar cones and tire d’érable,” says Greg Probert, the Principal of École Campbelltown. “Collectively, the activities and lessons help us embrace and share our love for the French language, the beauty of its cultural expressions and its rich heritage. It’s through this, students gain a deeper understanding about the importance of the French language and its significance to our province and country—now, and in the future.”
Schools also hosted virtual Franco-Alberta Flag Raising Ceremonies and participated in the International Francophonie Day—an annual event celebrated globally to promote the French language and francophone culture. All six EIPS French Immersion schools took part in this year’s Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie—Ardrossan Elementary, Ardrossan Junior Senior High, École Campbelltown, École Parc Élémentaire, Heritage Hills Elementary and Sherwood Heights Junior High. EIPS Franco-Albertan activities wrap up on March 25.
Elk Island Public Schools is one of Alberta’s largest school divisions, serving approximately 17,000 students in 43 schools. We are proud to be an integral part of our communities, including Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Strathcona and Lamont counties and the western portion of the County of Minburn.
For more information contact:
Laura McNabb, Director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902