Canadian Parents for French a new French Immersion resource in Airdrie
Airdrie parents with children in a French Immersion program or who just want to expose their children to more of the language, now have a new resource to turn to with the establishment of the Airdrie chapter of the Canadian Parents for French (CPF), a national volunteer association.
“Our goal as a local chapter is to enhance the French speaking experience for youth in our community and bring it outside of the classroom,” said Marilyne Aalhus, CPF Airdrie co-president.
“There is a tremendous amount of French Immersion students in our city and we want to invite them to celebrate French culture together,” Aalhus said.
She said though she doesn’t have the exact numbers of how many French Immersion students there currently are in the city, she does know, “enrollment just keeps going up.”
Airdrie currently has four schools and one preschool offering the French Immersion program. École Edwards Elementary caters to the younger students, École Airdrie Middle School is for students from Grade 5 to 8 and George McDougall High School takes care of the older students. The Catholic school board offers the program to kindergarten to Grade 7 students at Our Lady Queen of Peace School and École Des Petis Amis French Immersion offers to prepare young children for elementary school.
Aalhus said the local chapter of the national volunteer association wants to start off in a simple fashion with a movie night in November for kids in kindergarten to Grade 4; the exact date is not yet set for the event.
She said eventually they would like to branch out and bring in the middle school students too.
The co-president said the group wants to help grow the French Immersion community in Airdrie and bring together students and parents of students in the program.
She said there are extra curricular programs and a CPF chapter in Calgary for French Immersion students but nothing here.
“With the growth (of French Immersion) in our city it just made sense,” she said of starting the local chapter. “Why would you travel when there is such a big French community here?”
The association is currently looking for board members and volunteers to get involved in CFP and help out at events.
“Most parents that get involved don’t speak French at all,” she said. “These parents don’t have the opportunity to expose kids to the language outside the classroom.”
To get involved or to learn more about CFP Airdrie, visit www.cpfalta.ab.ca.
Membership in CFP is open to all adults and costs $25 for one year and $60 for three years.
Aalhus said 65 per cent of the membership fee goes back to the local chapter and is used to help with events. Twenty-five per cent goes to CFP Alberta and the remaining 10 per cent covers administration fees.
To become a member, visit