May 26, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Nearly 100 anglophone students and their teachers from Fredericton and Saint John visited predominately francophone communities on the Acadian coast as part of a new campaign intended to promote the importance of learning and speaking French outside the classroom.
"In preparing students today for success in the future, there are a number of key skills that they need," said Education Minister Roland Haché, who accompanied the students. "Being multilingual and understanding and being comfortable in other cultures are two of those important 21st-century skills. Instilling in students the attitude that learning is a life-long process and not something that stops once you step outside the classroom is also important."
The Let's Go/Allons-y campaign promotes the importance of learning outside the classroom by encouraging parents to expose students to French language and culture by taking day trips to francophone areas of the province.
"We need to give more recognition to the important role that learning experiences outside the classroom have on students," said Haché. "New Brunswick's strong Acadian culture and language give us a significant advantage to raising a multilingual population, and we want to encourage families to take advantage of this."
George Street Middle School students in Fredericton visited the Olivier Soapery and Museum in Sainte-Anne-de-Kent for a presentation on traditional soap-making with an environmental message.
Students from Barnhill Memorial Middle School in Saint John travelled to the Seawind Buffalo Ranch in Bouctouche. They were given a wagon tour of the buffalo pastures, visited the interpretive centre and had buffalo burgers for lunch. While staff and displays at the factory and ranch are bilingual, students were given the tours and presentations in French.
"This is a fun and engaging way that parents can support their child's education whether it is a day or weekend trip away or attending a local event put on by the francophone community," said Haché. "It all helps to show students how what they are learning in the classroom is relevant outside the classroom."
The campaign will run all summer on the department's Let's Go/Allons-y website, and it will use materials from the Department of Tourism and Parks to highlight interesting places and events around the province.
An e-mail address has been set up to encourage students and parents to share their experiences and suggestions on where to visit. These comments will be posted weekly on the site and tweeted on the department's Twitter account until the end of August.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Valerie Kilfoil, communications, Department of Education, 506-470-3178; Johanne Le Blanc, communications, Department of Education, 506-453-3085.