The following quotations were taken from letters and messages sent to National Headquarters by AATF members who participated in the first National French Week. We extend a special thank you to all teachers who participated and sent in their comments.

French Up in Lights

Residents of Philadelphia and all visitors who entered the city during National French Week were greeted with "Parlez français, celebrate National French Week, Nov. 4-10." The message revolved around the tope of the Philadelphia Electric Company (PECO) Building in blinking lights and was easily seen from most parts of the city.
(Photo by Ed Savaria)

Not all communities have whole building with rotating marquees on the roof, but every community has a bank or other commercial building which displays similar messages. Think about renting a portable marquee or getting one donated for National French Week.

"A special effort was made to publicize our event which celebrated National French Week 1999. Every member of the chapter was made aware of and invited to the celebration. The Mayor wrote a special proclamation on behalf of our French Week; the local newspapers carried articles inviting the public. Our students sought and received permission to hang official AATF posters in many shops, restaurants, and boutiques. Our success in these areas was outstanding. Many months after our November spectacle, colleagues, parents, and community members were still talking about the élan for French in our schools. In short, it worked, and we want to do it again." Allen R. Remaley, Hudson Valley AATF Chapter.

"National French Week was a huge success at Deerfield High School" Lou Ann Erikson

"Now that we all have time to look back on this year's National French Week Celebration, it does seem that all the time, money and effort we put into the event was worth it. In our Hudson Valley Chapter and in our national site, Saratoga Springs, New York, we enjoyed a huge success...." Allen R. Remaley, President, Hudson Valley Chapter

"After our evening event, the enthusiasm generated by our efforts was magical. Students cannot wait until next year and our "French Night 2000." And, there will be other "French Nights." Allen R. Remaley, President, Hudson Valley Chapter

"My daughter and I enjoyed the performances at the French Music Night last wekk. Kudos to you and your students for a wonderful evening of French music. I was particularly impressed with the self-confidence displayed by the students. Bravo!" A parent, New York

"Clearly this event was one of the highlights of National French Week in the Whittier community and in the larger L.A. region." Marie-Magdeleine Chirol

"Just a note to tell you how wonderful our National French Week has been!" Paula Gyllenborg

"Students were offered extra credit for their convincing merchants to post our announcements, and many merchants wrote strong words of encouragement on notes brought back to us at school." Allen R. Remaley, President, Hudson Valley Chapter

"J'ai hâte et mes élèves sont motivés. Voilà c'est ma façon de remercier les gens qui ont inventé cette merveilleuse semaine!" Andréanne Mauger-Bauman, Trésorière, North Texas Chapter

"This is just the beginning! Next year's celebration will even be better for all of us." Ellen Shiptenko

"La Semaine du Français est venue avec éclat...Quel plaisir de réunir tous nos efforts en même temps afin de réaliser de grandes rêves." Annie Wiseman-Floyd

"I hope this is the first of many to come for the enthusiasm generated had no bounds!" Jo Langone

"I found that one well-organized event can lead to a lot of publicity, provided you have the right contact person." Mary Certa

"The first Semaine Nationale du Français was a great success." Molly Wieland, Immediate Past-President, Minnesota Chapter

"It was by no means an elaborate production, but we felt the activities publicized French, made connections to other curriculum and gave the students one more reason to enjoy their French classes." Cammie Williams

Our efforts paid off: students have demonstrated more interest, more willingness to use French, and are asking for a repetition of some of the activities." Carole Delavault

"By any measure, it was a huge success, and there are already clamors for this event to take place during the next school year!" Joan L. Feindler, Treasurer, Nassau, NY Chapter

"First of all, I think National French Week was a success here....The feedback we received was really positive." Laura Wuerdeman

"I thought French would help me in life, but I didn't know it would totally change my life." A French Student

"Our French Club was so interested in promoting the study of French that they are requesting permission to visit our feeder middle school and talk with rising 9th graders about enrolling in French!" Cammie Williams

"'La semaine du français' was a fun, exciting and very educational experience. We enjoyed ourselves and helped other students broaden their view of French culture. We hope to celebrate it again next year." Sophia Rafiqi, Régine Pettigrew

"The events of National French Week were mentioned with great enthusiasm by students and faculty from across the campus, not just the French program. I really do think you guys are on to something. I'm sure it's a tremendous amount of work for the faculty involved, but it's not often that I get so many unsolicited favorable comments about ANY campus event based in an academic department." Catherine Ingold

"All in all, it was a success. We started small, but it was so well received that our students are psyched to do more next year." Laura Wuerdeman

"Beaucoup de choses se sont passées...dont la plus importante fut les 2 concerts...ce fut un grand succès; nous avons eu en tout 21 établissements et environ 13000 élèves + profs--nous n'avons reçu que des réponses positives." Viviane Levy, President, New Jersey Chapter

"Cette semaine était une des meilleures de ma vie dans l'enseignement, et j'espère que cela continuera. Sachez que cette idée d'une semaine à la française MARCHE BIEN!" Un professeur au Michigan

"I wanted to tell you how excited I was to get my students involved in National French Week. This type of thig was a first for AHS; and they (the administration, faculty members, and students) responded to it, at first with hesitation, but in the end, with great enthusiasm. It was a big hit! In fact, yesterday, the Assistant Superintendent of Schools told me she felt that it was so successful across the high school that next year, she would give me full support to "celebrate" it, not only in the Middle School (when students usually make the decision as to which language they will study); but also in the upper levels of the elementary schools so that parents and students have so much exposure to the value of studying French before decisions need to be made." Susan C. Keaney

"My students and I are on a high about things French. We created 'Le Petit Louvre' to display posters about French artists, viewed a film, set up a display in the trophy case of students' projects about things French, and our cafeteria created a week of 'specials' that included soupe à l'oignon, quiche lorraine, éclairs au chocolat, and croque monsieur. We decorated the cafeteria with posters and the red French Week balloons. I am giving students extra credit if they can get a friend who is not studying French to come to me and say three sentences in French. They also have gotten credit for putting French labels on items in one of their other classrooms. We gave a little bundle of French pencils to each guidance counselor and secretary. P.E. teachers borrowed posters to make their 'Tour de France' activity more authentic. The timing is perfect, I think. Thanksgiving will be soon and December is always so buy, and in my school, registration is in late January." Bonnie Gore


Created: March 20, 2000
Last update: July 31, 2015