Schools may cut French Immersion? French Fun Day

Last month the Calcasieu Parish School Board proposed a list of budget cuts to include the area's immersion programs. Programs that have been around for the past twenty years.

Today, at Gillis Elementary School in Moss Bluff, French Immersion students from three schools: Prien Lake Elementary School, Henry Heights Elementary School and Gillis Elementary School, all came together in order to celebrate not only the French culture of Louisiana but also the importance of learning a second language.

Principal Tim Savoy says that he is from a French background himself and understands how important it is that French is preserved in Louisiana culture. His parents taught he and his sibling how to speak the language and that teaching made him interested in furthering his French studies in college. From college he had a barrage of jobs within education but always made sure he tethered himself to the French language. He is now Principal of Gillis Elementary.

Parents who we spoke with also were adamant about their children getting a fighting chance in the global economy with having a second language under their belt. When faced with the threat of the immersion programs being eliminated? They will not go silently.

Calcasieu Parish School Board Consultant for World Languages and ESL, Jennifer Zambrano reminded us that last year's board meeting was very well attended by parents and concerned citizens. A feat, Zambrano adds, that must happen again this year if the board dangles the immersion program by its feet.