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B'ville: Baker's Cercle Fran ais wins national grant

Each year, the French Club of Baker High School celebrates National French Week.

This year, the club was honored to receive a $500 grant from the American Association of Teachers of French. Inspired by a video prepared by the American Association of Teachers of French: Parlez-vous the language of 20 million people?, the club decided to make its own. Members interviewed students about what they enjoyed most about studying French; and since it was in French, it was subtitled in English. Members inserted clips of photos and film of what was happening in class and French Club. As the pictures scroll, a background narration states all the useful reasons for studying French. The finished product will be "premiered" to the students during the club's annual spring celebration. It will also be posted on their web site bhscerclefrancais.com.

The club's calendar of events for the year is full. Members launched the year with a trip to Fort Ontario in Oswego, site of the victory of General Montcalm who later died in the Battle of Quebec, on a glorious September afternoon. During National French week, French music could be heard throughout the school and the hall outside the French classrooms was decorated with The World Speaks French posters and pictures of famous people who speak French. French students often wore their French Club T-shirts, which state on the back: "Oui, je parle fran ais" as well as a French/American flag pin.

During the week of Veterans' Day, students were once again given the opportunity of writing messages of thanks. This is a project, which began in 2003. Students and community members have the opportunity of expressing their gratitude to the American soldiers who died during the D-Day invasion. These 1,181 messages are attached to American flags and will honor the graves of soldiers in the American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, along Omaha Beach in Normandy, when the students travel to France in April.

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