The Centre de la francophonie des Amériques (CFA) is holding its first activity in the United States. Under a partnership with a Québec organization called ASTER and the City of Lafayette, activities will be held in over a dozen Louisiana schools from January 20 to February 10. About 1,500 students will take part in French-language workshops on astronomy and introduction to science. The workshops are being held as part of UNESCO’s International Year of Astronomy (IYA 2009).
The initiative is in keeping with the CFA’s mission, which is to help promote and highlight a Francophonie focused on the future, particularly among young people. In the words of CFA president and CEO Michel Robitaille, “The CFA was created to build closer ties between French-speakers and people interested in French across the Americas. With this school project in Louisiana, we are offering an activity in French aimed at motivating young Louisianans to use French in their everyday life.”
ASTER is a non-profit organization based in Québec’s Bas-Saint-Laurent region. Since 1993 it has offered educational activities in the areas of astronomy and introduction to science. Acadian-born workshop leader Mathieu Akerley-Guay, who holds a bachelor’s degree in science education, will help young Louisianans discover the worlds of science and astronomy, in French. Louisianan author-singer-songwriter Zachary Richard, who is a member of the CFA board, is associated with the initiative.
The activity was announced at the École des Ursulines in Québec City, an institution that has played a historic role in French-language education in the Americas. The educational workshop has already been held for grade 3 students at the Québec city school.
Centre de la francophonie des Amériques (in French)