French Around the World festival celebrates French culture, students’ learning


Photo credit: Ella Chang

The Rose Room is covered with decorations for the French Around the World celebration. The celebration took place Friday, March 24, in the courtyard.

By Ella Chang, Staff Reporter

World Language teachers Laurence Clerfeuille and Natalie Kang and World Language Department Chair Travis Nesbitt planned and hosted the French Around the World celebration, which had dancing and informational booths in the courtyard, Friday, March 24.

The purpose of the celebration was to celebrate different French-speaking people and cultures. It also gave students a chance to showcase what they’ve learned in their French classes.

To kick off the celebration, a choir composed of middle and upper schoolers sang “Les Champs-Élysées” and “L’Oiseau et l’enfant.” After the songs, students led dance performances and a poetry recitation with French poems and music. Students could also play a French lawn bowling game called ping pong in the courtyard.

The student-led informational booths displayed different foods from French-speaking regions and countries and information about French history, art and artists. All of the French students were involved in some way, and the entire community was invited to participate.

This is the first time this celebration has occurred at Archer. In the past, the Archer community celebrated National French Week  in November 2019 before the pandemic hit. Eleventh grader Elle Moccio helped run the booths with members from her French 4 class.

“This was my first time participating in the festival,” Moccio said. “The most memorable aspect of the festival was seeing my friends presenting and performing.”

The choir performance started at 12:10 p.m. Nesbitt helped the chorus practice the two songs starting March 1.

“Each individual French teacher organized booths by topics in their classes, and then we sent out a solicitation to all French students to see if they wanted to be in the integrated choir or the dance, and they signed up to do that,” Nesbitt said. “I led the choir through rehearsals, and Lucia Ponti and Sophia Landers led the dancers through dances.”

Seventh grader Mia Goldberg helped assemble a French booth and was a part of the French Around the World chorus.

“I think my favorite part was learning about the French culture and listening to all the French songs,” Goldberg said.

Through the celebration, Nesbitt said he hoped to increase the visibility of the French program.

“The purpose was to give students a chance to showcase what they’ve been learning to share with the larger community about French-speaking cultures and French-speaking peoples and provide an opportunity to celebrate,” Nesbitt said. “I think the singing and dancing was my favorite part of the celebration.”