She Makes Us Proud
I have three grandchildren, Dylan, Olivia and Travis. They are all excellent students, participants in athletics and lovely young people, a credit to their parents. They all make us very proud often.
This past year. Olivia, graduated from elementary school. Ècole publique Jeunesse-Active, in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario. This school is a school in which the language of instruction is in French.
Olivia's accomplishment was quite remarkable. She was the valedictorian of her class. She won numerous awards. She was the top academic student as well as winning the physical education award. She won the history prize and the Français prize.
She was also awarded the Citoyenne Francophone (French citizen award) which is quite remarkable as English is her first language and her family is considered an Anglophone family in Sturgeon although her mother is from a Francophone family
All three of my grandchildren are bilingual as a result of their being educated in a French language school. They have excelled in school . They are one of the few English families to seek out a French language education. Dylan is continuing his education in French at the French public secondary school that shares the building with the English secondary school in which his father works. Olivia will be attending Franco Cité, the French Catholic Secondary School. Of the three children she has come to identify herself as a Francophone the most. It seem knowing the French language is a cultural reality she has adopted.
I found out years ago the Government of Ontario considers the ability to speak French as merely a skill. (At the time, I was trying to find out if I was being discriminated against in employment because I was not bilingual.) In Québec, the situation is different. the French language is more than a skill; it is also cultural. To understand this you have to understand Canadian history and politics. Historically, Francophones in Ontario has struggle very hard to keep their language and culture alive. Now they can do so with the blessing of the government and a wider acceptance of bilingualism.
I am very proud that my grandchildren have been raised to be bilingual. It is such a wonderful advantage to speak more than one language in our World, and in Canada, being able to speak both official languages allow one to participate fully in the two founding cultures. As a result, of their education they have extended for another generation the French heritage of their mother's family, the Lajeunesse branch of the Renaud family that first settled in this area of Ontario.
I think it is important to encourage the French culture in this part of Ontario. West Nipissing (which includes both Sturgeon Falls and River Valley,)is the most bilingual community in Ontario
Congratulations Olivia. I hope and expect you will go on to find success in high school and University if you continue on. You make us all proud.