La Journée de la Francophonie at the University of Delaware 2017
On Wednesday, March 22, 2017, four hundred ninety-six high school students, approximately fifteen French students from the Lycée François I Fontainebleau and approximately eighty University of Delaware students participated in a lively Journée de la Francophonie. During this day-long event, students, teachers and visitors conversed in French, danced and learned about French cultures from all over the world. To facilitate this interaction, University of Delaware students had prepared poster presentations of various Francophone regions. As the high school students visited each region and conversed with UD students, the UD hosts stamped the visitors’ “passports” which were then entered in a drawing for French-themed prizes.
One of the highlights of the day was the Afro-Caribbean dance lessons led by dance instructor, Ms. Dee Faison. Hundreds of students eagerly participated as Ms. Faison taught students the history, meaning and execution of particular dances.
496 students from seven high schools performed on stage, singing French songs, performing skits and reciting French poems. Those in attendance responded enthusiastically to the student performances. Senior French instructor, Ms. Flora Poindexter gave an informative and enticing presentation on her native Martinique.
Under the guidance of Senior French instructor, Judy Celli, intermediate French instructors and university students had worked for weeks on their posters by gathering information, images and materials. Fliers were distributed to advertise the event and Rebecca Kalmbach, President of the Delaware Chapter of the AATF created an activity that encouraged meaningful engagement among students. Finally, all of the events, materials and scheduling was organized and overseen by Ms. Donna Coulet du Gard who is a senior instructor of French at the University of Delaware.
All those involved are extremely grateful to the AATF for its generous donation for this event. Without this funding, hundreds of students would not know the excitement of learning about French culture and the joy of using the French language to communicate in a meaningful way.