The Castlegar chapter of Canadian Parents for French has been creating opportunities, fundraising for French resources and creating community for three years.
Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is a national network of parents, volunteers, and advocates dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.
The local chapter is small, with only three members on the board, but over the years has done some great things for the French immersion community.
Castlegar Primary and Twin Rivers Elementary are the only schools in School District 20 that have early French immersion. This means that students start learning a second language straight from kindergarten.
“I feel that having this program creates a rich culture in our community, but because our community is made up of mostly English speaking families new resources are much needed,” says Castlegar CPF president Rachel Tetreault.
CPF has raised money for new French books for two years in a row and donated them to the Castlegar and District Public Library and this year to Twin Rivers Elementary as well.
“By fostering relationships with teachers, AFKO and the public library we have been able to identify where resources are needed and how we can help,” said Tetreault.
The group is currently holding their annual Où est le bonhomme contest as a celebration for the winter carnival held in Quebec City every February.
Last year they took bonhomme’s picture at various popular spots around Castlegar and had community quests where he was. This year they have taken bonhomme’s picture with a few of the new murals around town.
“We love our community and want to promote its vibrancy and bring that into the French immersion culture of Castlegar,” added Tetreault. “Our contest is designed to be interactive and to allow our community to engage with us on social media so we can reach more families and help provide resources.”
More information about the group and its current fundraiser — Make it sow seed — can be found on the Canadian Parents For French – Castlegar Chapter Facebook page.
For more information about CPF can be found at cpf.ca/en/.