A group of parents in Wawota have come together to establish a chapter of Canadian Parents for French (CPF). With 10 parents agreeing the program would fulfill a need in the area the chapter was inaugurated this year.
On July 10, 11, and 12 a Fête du Soleil was held. This was a camp directed at encouraging bilingualism. “It’s very basic, but is completely bilingual.” Monique Myers, President of the CPF Wawota Chapter, stated.
Monitors, Joëlle Gaudet and Katie Groskopf, from the Saskatoon head office were invited to host this fun-filled summer learning camp. Whether the youth were new to the language or had previous experience with it, the camp was focused on promoting an introduction to the French language and reinforcement of these skills throughout the three days.
Two youth came from as far as Brandon, Manitoba to partake in the camp. These two youth are attending French immersion in the fall and this camp was a way to introduce them to the language.
The three day camp was held at Moose Mountain Church of Christ from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The seven youth registered, enjoyed meals catered by the Kenosee Minimart, ate healthy snacks, and took part in great activities organized by the monitors.
Each day had an overall theme in order to keep the youth entertained as they learned.
“Every day we have a different theme: beach, western, space day. We also hold different activities like cooking, crafts, sports, science if we have enough time, and group ones. We try to combine everything. We teach them vocabulary, which is a starting base for words throughout the day.” Groskopf stated.
Rules were made by the youth at the beginning of the camp outlining four major ones: listen; respect everyone; have fun; and speak French whenever possible.
“It’s meant to be a fun experience with the language. To expose kids to it and have fun, I think they are definitely enjoying it.” Myers exclaimed.
Before school was out for the summer CPF Wawota also held a program they called, Day Care Buddies. Since French is taught from grade one to grade six in Wawota with the option to take it via the internet in the middle years the program was a way for students to utilize what they had learned.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays the girls would arrive at the daycare and would be flocked by children. The staff acknowledged their appreciation for this and parents stopped Myers in the street to say how much their kids enjoyed learning and interacting with the girls that took part in the program. It was a huge success for those within Wawota.
Though the Fête du Soleil was run by CPF staff out of Saskatoon this year, the intention of the Wawota chapter is to have local young people who are adept at the language take on this role eventually.
“The interest for learning is there and it is a wonderful opportunity for the area.” Myers stated.
This is the third year that Groskopf has been working for CPF during the summer. She emphasized the importance of this program for Saskatchewan and stated that she has previously held camps across the province inLloydminster, Prince Albert, and Yorkton. This year they are running summer camps for Saskatoon, Regina, Swift Current, and Wawota.
The Wawota chapter has big plans for its future. So long as interest stays high they will continue to work hard to plan different events. As this is their first year in operation and they are still figuring out exactly what they want to do with the program, CPF Wawota will decide at their annual meeting what should stay, go, or be added to their itinerary for next year.
CPF provides the latest information and research regarding learning French as a second language. It aids children in learning French in school and allows parents to take an active role in supporting French language education. Becoming a member allows for participation at CPF workshops, conferences, and activities all designed for families.
Becoming a member is as easy as filling out a form. By visiting www.cpfsask.com, one is able to register. For $25 a year or $60 for three years you can become a part of CPF. This means you will have access to multimedia and game kits, which are fun ways to interact and learn the language. The Wawota chapter is the local connection between CPF-Saskatchewan and you.
The Wawota CPF chapter helped procure, “Gotta Love that French,” a dynamic stage show promoting the French language and bilingualism, which was performed in Redvers this past April. With funding that was available through CPF the local chapter was able to secure the show. Schools from the area were invited to the Redvers gymnasium and about 270 people participated in the day.
CPF encourages learning French for four main reasons:
“Because you’re going places...” Youth may not know what they want to do in the future for certain and learning French can open many doors for them. From travel, work, to a higher education French can be an important tool.
“Because you’ll connect with people all over the world...” More than 160 million people around the world live and/or work in French. It is a language of diplomacy, an official language of the United Nations, and the International Olympic Committee.
“Because it power-packs a resume...” When entering the work force knowing French may create job opportunities for youth.
“Because you’re Canadian...” French is an inherent part of Canada and will help to understand the country just a little better.
“The program has changed since I started, this will be my third year...” Groskopf said, “It has grown and developed. There has been a lot of enthusiasm for it and good feedback from parents and kids.”