On Monday, April 8, 2019, five hundred fifty-six students from thirteen area high schools spent the day celebrating the Journée de la Francophonie at the University of Delaware. Almost two hundred University of Delaware students presented displays about Francophone regions and conversed with the high school students, who performed poems, songs and skits onstage. The performances included a beautiful rendition of La Marseillaise, rousing variations on the song Champs-Elysées, and the presentation of an original poem in both French and English. One of the highlights of the day was an Afro-Caribbean dance lesson led by Ms. Dee Faison, who taught the participants the history, meaning and execution of several dances. Students also enjoyed informative presentations on Martinique and Morocco given by Professor Flora Poindexter and Ms. Sophie Poindexter.
This day of Francophone culture was organized by Ms. Donna Coulet du Gard, Ms. Rebecca Kalmbach (past president of the Delaware chapter of AATF) and Ms. Connie Regan (current president of the Delaware chapter of AATF), assisted by UD French instructors Ms. Judy Celli, Ms. Flora Poindexter, Ms. Anna Ogunnaike, and teaching assistants Aurélien Cavelier and Merlin Gray. Thanks to a generous grant from the AATF, with matching chapter funds and assistance from the Alliance Française of Wilmington (Delaware), hundreds of students, teachers and visitors learned of the importance and influence of French language and Francophone culture in our world.