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French immersion and French language education attracts kids A N NA C A B R E R A POSTMEDIA CONTENT WORKS

Because the majority of Canadians live, work and play in mostly unilingual spaces, it’s sometimes easy to forget that we do live in a bilingual country. Although English dominates our homes and workplaces here in WindsorEssex, more and more local families are acknowledging the benefits of enrolling their children in French language or French immersion schools. In fact, French is the third most common mother tongue in the Windsor area, according to the most recent Statistics Canada census figures. There are 9,570 people who cited French in the 2016 census and although that number dropped from

Our girls (now) have advantages in our community and professionally because they have been given the gift of bilingual education.

Jennifer Daley-Stewart, a French immersion teacher at Christ the King Catholic Elementary School, answers a question from Grade 3 student Liliana Mottillo. Christ the King is one of seven elementary schools in the Catholic school board system that offers French immersion.   - S U PP LI E D

10,560 in 2011 and was surpassed by Arabic speakers it still represents a significant percentage of the population, above Italian, Chinese and other languages. There are hundreds of elementary and secondary French-language schools throughout the province, but many confuse Frenchlanguage schools (which are managed by a Frenchlanguage school board) with French immersion programs, which are managed by English-language schools and include students who wish to learn French as a second language. In homes where neither or only one parent speaks French, there’s a benefit to attending a French immersion program. Students are taught in English, with the exception of French courses and two other courses in French. Students live and

MedicAlert has ID bracelets

The start of a new school year is the perfect time to make sure your kid’s allergies, asthma and medical conditions are handled in the classroom. A MedicAlert Medical ID is the most important item that will give you peace of mind when your kids are back at school. You can visit with your child’s teacher and let them know about any medical conditions so they are prepared in the case of an emergency.

A MedicAlert ID bracelet will ensure that paramedics, police and emergency responders get access to detailed health records during the time of an emergency. There are a variety of bracelets that will fit every kid’s unique style, from paracord bracelets to various watches. Your child could be eligible for the No Child Without program. The program ensures that kids ages four

learn in English, and all material and literature sent home to parents is in English. English is mastered as the first language, and French is learned as a second language. “It’s structured in such a way that parents whose first language is not French are still able to give their children the French language experience,” explains Stephen Fields, communications coordinator for the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board. “They are still able to support them. “And as an added benefit, when the child goes home to his or her parents, there’s an opportunity to teach those parents… so there is eventually two-way communication, and parents can learn French as well.” In a French-language school, like those supported by Conseil scolaire

Have time on your side. We should all give ourselves enough travel time to get to our destination so we don’t have to rush. Try to do what you can to give yourself some extra minutes — whether it’s waking up a bit earlier, planning out a more efficient route, or getting some tasks done the night before.

Plan ahead. Set the GPS and review all maps and directions before heading out. If you’re unsure about where you’re going, Google directions or call for instructions while you’re still in the driveway. It can be tempting to do this while you’re moving, but even hands-free calls have been linked to higher crash and near-collision rates. Before driving. Make sure the kids are in their car seats or buckled up, and have any items they might need in reach, including something to drink or play with. Stow and secure loose objects like

information. The Greater Essex County District School Board ( ) also offers French immersion at 11 elementary and secondary schools throughout the area. For those interested in full French language programs, Conseil scolaire catholique Providence has seven schools throughout Windsor Essex. Visit

catholique Providence (the French language separate school board for Southwestern Ontario), students are taught all subjects in French (with the exception of English), which follow the same curriculum as in Englishlanguage schools. Students learn and live in French, surrounded by friends, teachers and other staff members who communicate exclusively in French,

and participate in activities that promote and celebrate Francophone culture. For a child to be admitted to a French-language school, the parent must be a Canadian citizen whose first language learned and still understood is French, received his or her education at the primary level in a Frenchlanguage school in Canada, or whose child has received or is receiving instruction at

My future starts here! up to their 14th birthday, who have medical conditions such as allergies, diabetes or asthma, receive free MedicAlert protection, regardless of their family income. This charitable program from The MedicAlert Foundation Canada is active in 240 school boards, and has already benefited more than 58,000 students across the country. For more information, visit

How to cut out distracted driving A recent CAA survey of parents with young kids reported they have seen an increase in unsafe driving practices in school zones. Help keep everyone safe with these easy ways to avoid distracted driving.

French immersion options There are a large number of schools that offer French immersion and French language programs throughout Windsor-Essex. The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board offers the French immersion program from Junior Kindergarten to grades 3, 4, 5 and 8 at seven elementary schools. Visit for more

a French-language primary or secondary school. For a growing number of local families, “language acquisition has become so important,” says Fields. “It’s related to other areas of academics – as they improve in French, they improve in English as well. And the long-term benefits are there. As this is a bilingual country, the employment and career options grow with knowing both languages.” Catherine Cristofaro agrees. Cristofaro, who grew up in a French-speaking household, enrolled her daughters (Caydance, 10, and Emma, 9) at Ecole St. Jean Baptiste in Amherstburg. “I wanted my children to have the opportunity to learn a second language and be immersed in the culture and faith practices of a full French Catholic education,” says the dance teacher and owner of The Catz Meow in Amherstburg. She shares that her husband Jason, who is not French-speaking, has had few challenges with helping with homework, but that “the school has been accommodating with making sure that there is always a translated version of information in newsletters and even verbal announcements at events and school celebrations.” Despite those challenges, Cristofaro says they wouldn’t make a different choice if they had to do it all over again. “We have been fortunate that the girls have been enthusiastic about learning and growing in French… and have succeeded with little support from us at home. “Our girls (now) have advantages in our community and professionally because they have been given the gift of bilingual education.”

your bag and cellphone so you’re not adjusting them if they shift while you’re driving. Do daily tasks like makeup, shaving and drinking your coffee before you leave home. While driving. Let your calls go to voicemail and don’t text, use apps or read emails. Checking a text for only five seconds means that at 90 kilometres per hour, you’ve travelled the length of a football field blindfolded. Finally, keep an eye out for student volunteers in the CAA School Safety Patrol.


Tuesday, Sept. 5th

Academic excellence Francophone environment Full bilingualism Rooted in Catholic values Childcare / Summer camps 1st choice of francophone parents

French Catholic school: my first great success!

14 Catholic elementary schools worth visiting! Saint-Jean-Baptiste


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365 Fryer Street, Amherstburg 519 736-6427 326 Rourke Line, Belle River 519 727-6044 8200 Matchette Road, LaSalle 519 734-1380

33 Sherman Street, Leamington 519 326-6125 573 Grondin Avenue, McGregor 519 726-6114

1317 Lesperance Road, Tecumseh 519 735-2165 13025 St. Thomas Street, Tecumseh 519 735-5766 11 St. Clair Street, Tilbury 519 682-3243 6200 Edgar Street, Windsor 519 948-9481 5305 Tecumseh Road East, Windsor 519 945-2628

840 Comber Side Road, Pointe-aux-Roches 519 798-3022

1880 Totten Street, Windsor 519 945-0924


3225 California Avenue, Windsor 519 966-6670

2716 County Road 42, St. Joachim 519 728-2010



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Back to School  

From French immersion and French-language education to MedicAlert ID bracelets and strategies to avoid distracted driving, Back to School he...