Chilliwack parents meet at library to talk about early French immersioin

A meeting for interested parents is set for Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the Chilliwack library.

A group of Chilliwack parents are looking for help to start a local chapter of Canadian Parents For French, said spokesperson Jocelyn Thomas.

A meeting is set for Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the Chilliwack library.

“We’re trying to reach out and attract those parents who maybe haven’t thought of it and let them know some of the benefits of early immersion,” Thomas said.

They need at least 10 members to start a local Canadian Parents For French, BC and Yukon branch.

They’re also hoping to attract parents whose children are already registered in French immersion, as well as those lobbying for early immersion.

Canadian Parents for French BC and Yukon Branch is a parent-led, not-for-profit organization that offers French-language educational, social, cultural and sporting activities for youth. They provide support and resources for parents with children studying French, whether in an immersion, intensive or basic French program, working with school boards, teachers, PACs and government to recommend and monitor policies and programs that affect access to and quality of French educational programs.

Thomas said she and her husband both went through French immersion courses.

“I was in it because of my parents. Even though they didn’t speak any French whatsoever, they thought it would give me more opportunities in life, and it certainly has.”

She says as a Westjet employee, being able to speak French has helped a lot in both her career, and in her travels.

Any parents who may be feeling hesitant because they’re worried English language arts might suffer if kids are put in early French immersion, they can rest assured the studies and her own research don’t bear that out in the long-term, she said.

At the meeting Wednesday, they’ll be electing an executive, and looking for some dedicated new members to launch the chapter.