Children deserve early French immersion

I am writing about the need for an early French immersion program in Chilliwack.

I am writing about the need for an early French immersion program in Chilliwack.  When my husband and I moved here five years ago we thought it was a wonderful place to raise a family. We still believe it is, in all respects except one…the lack of a French immersion program for our young children.

My husband and I do not speak French, but we had every intention of giving our children the benefit of learning a second language. Unfortunately, when I began looking at elementary schools in March of 2011, I was shocked and saddened to realize we do not have EFI. Chilliwack is the only community I have lived in that does not offer EFI. Even my six-year-old nephew, living in a community of less than 30,000 in the Yukon, is currently enrolled in EFI.

I find it extremely disappointing both for my own family and for the Chilliwack community as a whole. When I first found out about our lack of French immersion, I contacted the school board members and the former superintendent of schools, Corinne McCabe. I was told there was not enough interest from the public. Ms. McCabe told me the late French immersion met the requests and needs of the community. Now, two years later, the school board has done a feasibility study with the overwhelming majority of respondents in support of EFI. Obviously, we have the necessary interest.

Please do not now give the excuse of money. Our children’s education should be made a priority.

Please join me in again requesting an early French immersion program for our Chilliwack children. They deserve it.

Tai Weatherhead