Proclamation seeking to highlight French immersion learning

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is looking to highlight French immersion learning in Fort St. John. 

The nationwide organization was able to get the second week of February recognized as French Immersion Week by the provincial government in British Columbia and Yukon in 2002. 

The Fort St. John branch sought a proclamation to highlight the benefits of French immersion learning and draw more attention to the program. 

President of the CPF Fort St. John, Heather Balatti, presented some of the benefits of learning a second language, including improved memory, increased economic opportunity, and cross-cultural appreciation. 

Balatti also informed council that enrollment for the French immersion program in Fort St. John had dropped. In 2020-2021, 479 students were enrolled in District 60 French immersion program. In 2022-2023, that number dropped to 373. 

According to CPF, this is due to a decrease in kindergarten enrollment. Usually, kindergarten enrollment relies on word of mouth. The COVID-19 lockdowns of recent years made that difficult, so enrollment dropped. 

Balatti said she hopes the proclamation will help give the community a rich, cross-cultural experience with Canada’s official second language. 

City council moved to proclaim the second week of February, 5th through 12th, as French Immersion Week in Fort St. John. 

To learn more about CPF, visit their website.

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