Secondary students fundraising for exchange program

French immersion students at Fernie Secondary School are working hard to raise money for an exchange program with a school in Montreal.

French immersion students at Fernie Secondary School held a spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Thursday to raise funds for their exchange program.

French immersion students at Fernie Secondary School held a spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Thursday to raise funds for their exchange program.

French immersion students at Fernie Secondary School (FSS) are working hard to raise money for an exchange program with a school in Montreal.

This February, 38 kids in grades seven, eight, and nine will head to Montreal. In April, they will take on the role of hosts for a group of Montreal students.

FSS held a spaghetti dinner and silent auction on Thursday night to kick off the fundraising efforts. “We’re supported by the student exchange program,” explained Roxanne Esch, FSS teacher. “They pay the airfare, which is a $20,000 bill, but then we have to host the kids from Montreal, which will probably cost us about $12,000 for the week.”

Each student will stay with a billeted family, however some of the additional hosting costs include bussing and transportation, wages for substitute teachers, and lift tickets.

“The kids take a leadership role in the fundraising, like our spaghetti dinner fundraiser,” said Esch. “They’re serving, they did set up, and the planning of the event. We’re doing a whole bunch of fundraising activities, like magazine sales, and selling beef jerky.”

FSS’s exchange program began two years ago and this will be the second time students have the opportunity to travel across the country. “When we went the first time they took us to Parliament Hill, old Montreal, they kind of showed us the best of their world,” said Esch. “When they came here we had two days of skiing, we did avalanche awareness, a Teck tour, the Frank Slide, and showed them our world.

“It was amazing, I completely underestimated the value of it.”

Grade nine student, Tessa Holmes, is excited to spend time with the Montreal students not only in Quebec, but at home in Fernie. “It’s cool because in Quebec they don’t really get to experience some of the winter things we have,” she said. “They get to do some of the winter activities we get to do, and when we go there they show us around, so we get to interact with them and practise speaking more French.”

Esch and another French teacher, along with a couple of parent chaperones, will spend a week with the FSS kids in Quebec at the end of February.

“It’s a real eye-opener for them, because they’re quite sheltered in the valley,” remarked Esch. “I’m very passionate about not just language, but also to have the chance to expose the kids to a more multicultural, bilingual, and urban experience.”

Esch went on to say, “I want the kids to have an experience to be able to exercise their French, but it’s not only just a French language component, but a social component. So when they are in grade nine and are studying the battle of the Plains of Abraham, they can say they’ve been there.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

It costs as little as $7 to charge an EV at home. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Electric Vehicles a rare sight (in the Kootenays), but change on the way

Electric pickups will increase the appeal of zero-emission vehicles in years to come according to Blair Qualey of the New Car Dealers Association

Linda Krawczyk and her dad Doug Finney enjoyed a ride around beautiful Fernie on Friday thanks to Melanie Wrigglesworth and the local chapter of Cycling Without Age. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Cycling Without Age goes for its first spin

Doug Finney (86) got to enjoy a ride around Fernie

The Cranbrook Community Forest is good to go for mountain biking. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Snow’s done, time to hit the trails

South Country trails are good to go

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Most Read