Saturday, November 22, 2014

42nd annual World Hello Day!

Yesterday was the 42nd annual World Hello Day!
To celebrate this occasion, students of 5th and 6th grade researched greetings in many languages! 
That was so much fun!!
November 21, 2014 is the 42nd annual World Hello Day. 
Anyone can participate in World Hello Day simply by greeting ten people. 
This demonstrates the importance of personal communication for preserving peace.

People around the world use the occasion of World Hello Day as an opportunity to express their concern for world peace. Beginning with a simple greeting on World Hello Day, their activities send a message to leaders, encouraging them to use communication rather than force to settle conflicts.

Friday, November 21, 2014

AEFE Conference in Montreal for French Schools of North America

Willy and Elizabeth Beth LeBihan participated in a 3 day conference in Montreal for the 53 schools in North America accredited by the French Ministry of Education. Beth, Willy and all of the directors worked together to design and plan staff development for teachers in the 2015-2016 academic year. 

Workshops and discussions were lead by Mr. Philippe Zeller, Ambassador of France to Canada, Ms. Hélène Farnaud-Defromont, Director of the AEFE, (Agency for French Education Abroad) Jean-Christophe Deberre, General Director of the MLF (Mission Française Laïque), Mark Sherringham, Cultural Attaché, Alain Rossignol, AEFE Pedagogical Inspector for North America and Myriam Fournier-Dulac, Christine Paugam, Marie Lozano of the French Ministry of Education.

A particularly interesting conference on Technology in Education (the use of I-pads, Facebook, wikipedia etc..) was lead by Thierry Karsenty, Professor at University of Montréal. 

A great opportunity to collaborate with other Heads of Schools and Pedagogical Directors in our network!
Eric Thuau, Head of School, French American School of Puget Sound, Washington State; Willy LeBihan, Founder and Head of the French School of Maine

Emmanuelle Varo, Pedagogical Coordinator MLF America, Sophie Polin, Pedagogical director at MLF headquarters in Paris; Willy and Elizabeth LeBihan founders of L'Ecole Française du Maine.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
On November 17, the school community gathered for a Thanksgiving meal, prepared and served by parent volunteers. In the Community Hall of the South Freeport Church, 156 students and parents sat together to enjoy the delicious turkey dinner, complete with all of the fixings, including stuffing, green bean casserole, carrots, turnip, and potatoes - brought directly from Northern Maine by a school parent with family up in "The County". Everyone enjoyed not only the wonderful food, but the opportunity to share in conversation with other members of the school family, including teachers, parents, grandparents and friends. This was a wonderful event, and the School is grateful to the volunteers who made it possible. Some parents cooked, set tables, and served, while others stayed afterwards to stack chairs, fold away tables and clean up. Many thanks to all who pitched in to help, and to those who took the time to join us.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Lunch to support Elodie's trip to Haiti: great food, great time, great cause!

Big Thanks to Tim O' Brien Chef/owner at Enoteca Athena, 97 Maine St. in Brunswick for holding the third annual fundraising event to raise funds for Elodie's trip to Haiti.

Parents, students, friends, school staff and Adult Education students shared a delicious Haitian inspired meal. The good ambiance was as contagious as Elodie's enthusiasm for Haiti.  

For the forth consecutive year Elodie Le Nezet, 3rd and 4th grade teacher, will travel to Haiti over the Thanksgiving holiday on a humanitarian trip.  In Haiti, Elodie will travel to the town of Terrier-Rouge where she will assist teachers and students and will bring educational supplies and solar powered lamps. Like most of Haiti, this area is impoverished and desperately in need of humanitarian support, especially with respect to ensuring access to education, which is not free for children. If you want to help or sponsor a child, please contact Elodie at L'Ecole Française du Maine to learn more!

Mid Fall News from L'Ecole Française du Maine

Mid Fall News from L'Ecole Française du Maine
With our first snow fall already upon us, the lovely Indian summer days seem a distant memory! We've had a busy fall so far with our first Grandparents and Special Friends Day in early October and our Halloween Parade closing out the month.  Both events were a tremendous success enjoyed by all.
A Shared Moment on Our First Grandparents' Day
As we head into November and the holiday season, we look forward to a flurry of events, kicking off with a fundraiser for Elodie's trip to Haiti this Sunday, November 9 at 1:00 at Trattoria Athena in Brunswick. All proceeds support Elodie's trip and students in need in Haiti.  We hope you can join us for this fun and worthy event!
We are also gearing up for two other important  endeavours: the annual Parents' Association Thanksgiving Community meal, scheduled for Monday, November 17th at noon in the Community Hall and our Thanksgiving food drive for the Freeport Community Center (see more below).
Finally, we have elections for our School Council on November 4.  Information on the School Council and those up for election is available at the office.
As always, our door is open and we welcome your opinion and suggestions!

Willy & Beth
Elodie's Trip to Haiti 
Elodie's Fourth Humanitarian Trip to Haiti
For the forth consecutive year Elodie Le Nezet, 3rd and 4th grade teacher, will travel to Haiti over the Thanksgiving holiday on a humanitarian trip.
In Haiti, Elodie will travel to the town of Terrier-Rouge in the Trou-du-Nord Arrondissement. She will assist teachers and students and bring educational supplies. Like most of Haiti, this area is impoverished and desperately in need of humanitarian support, especially with respect to ensuring access to education, which is not free for children.

Elodie during her 2013 trip to Haiti
 Elodie will bring solar-powered lamps to an area where electricity is scarce, making studying for children difficult, in addition to other school supplies and gifts as baggage limits allow.  Please join us this Sunday (tomorrow!), November 9 at 1pm at Trattoria Enoteca in Brunswick for a fundraiser to support this important trip.    
Parents Association -  Volunteers Needed!

Thanksgiving Community Meal  
We are excited once more to bring the Thanksgiving Community meal to our school community!  With November upon us, we've got lots to do and we need your help to make the day a success! We hope you will sign up to volunteer - there is plenty to do leading up to and following the meal.  Please visit the sign up page and volunteer for one of the slots - Merci! 
Parent Volunteers 2013 - Thanksgiving Community Meal - Fun Times!! 
Décloisonnement means 'to take down walls'. In this section, each month we'll focus on a school project or element that does just that - takes away some of the more traditional boundaries that exist in education. 
 Experiential Education - Everywhere at EFDM 
Experimental education is a term we often hear tossed about. Its premise, boiled down, is that for many students learning is doing.  While the theory of experiential education has many nuances, the gist is that students are more engaged in the process of learning by active, participatory experiences than by passively sitting behind a desk taking notes.  Though we're not an experiential learning school per se, being a small, independent school allows us the ability to infuse experience into every aspect of our learning.
1st Grade Students Learn about Engineering by Building a Self-Propelled Boat
Encouraging our students to engage in the world of learning through activity compliments our traditional French curriculum and can be seen everyday at EFDM: at recess after a rain when children build dams and rivers (little engineers); on field trips where children collect mineral samples and create a scientific rock collection or travel to the Merrill Auditorium to listen to live classical music. Everyday there is learning through activity infused into our rigorous curriculum, providing experience and structure in equal measure. 
In This Issue
Call for Volunteers 
Call for Volunteers 
Teacher Focus
Get Social!
Upcoming Events!

Sun., Nov. 9 
Fundraiser for Elodie's trip to Haiti, Trattoria Athena, Brunswick
Mon & Tues, Nov. 10 & 11 no school in observance of Veterans day
Wed, Nov.12, 8:30 - 9:15   Cafe et Conversation with Elodie (3rd & 4th grade)
Sat., Nov. 15
Open House 
Mon., Nov. 17 
Community Thanksgiving Meal 12pm   
Tues., Nov. 18
Suzuki Concert, Part 1 from 2-3pm
Mon. Nov. 24
Suzuki Concert, Part 2 from 2-3pm
Wed., Nov. 26 
Thanksgiving Break begins
Staff Focus
Kelly Valdmanis
English Language Arts Teacher
Given that we're a French immersion school, one of the most common questions we get during the admissions process is: "what about English, how will my child learn to read and write in English?"  Our answer: Kelly Valdmanis. In 2nd grade, all students begin an English program with Kelly, starting with 10% and ending, in 6th grade, with 50%, so that by graduation students are truly bi-lingual.  Her warm and approachable nature makes Kelly a hit with students and staff alike!

Kelly has been an educator in public and private schools since 2004. She received her Master's Degree in Childhood Education from Hunter College in New York City, and later taught for several years in the city's top public elementary school. She moved to Senegal, Africa, in 2009 and taught at the International School of Dakar before returning to her home state of Maine in May 2013.

Kelly is the mother of French speaking twin boys, with whom she enjoys spending most of her days. In Kelly's free time, when she is not making exploding clay volcanoes, space rocket costumes, or setting up marble runs, she can be found stand up paddle surfing, marathon training, tending her vegetable garden, or knitting the evening hours away. 
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Friday, November 7, 2014

Recess time: Let's built a fort !

"It is a happy talent to know how to play"
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Children need the freedom and time to play.
Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity."
Kay Redfield Jamison

Greek God and Goddess

Students in Grade 4 celebrated their Greek Myth Unit by dressing up as the Goddesses they have been researching.  Each student chose one Goddess that they would research throughout this unit. Research included family history and information, what each goddess was best known for, important symbols related to their Goddess, and any important stories and myths about their Goddess. 4th graders made presentations to the 5th and 6th grade students today. The class also enjoyed snacks and some tasty Greek treats. All students did an incredible job throughout this unit; Kelly is very proud of her Greek Goddesses!  :-)

Halloween decorations in preschool

The week of Halloween was a lot of fun in the preschool class! The Toute Petite and Petite Section students did feet painting to make scary ghosts and the Moyenne Section students made witches using finger paint. Come discover our beautiful decorations in the hallway.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Another Fantastic Halloween Parade at L'Ecole Française du Maine

Parents and students alike joined in the fun for Halloween! Costumes this year included the characters of Frozen, creative homemade costumes including a robot, jellyfish, gear guts and a larger than life skeleton! Pirates, animals, princesses, superheroes, storybook characters and even King Kong were among us on this fun day. Thanks to all who attended and made the day so memorable, and a special thanks to the Brewer family and Brewer's Marine for the wonderful cider and treats at the boatyard!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Installation Ceremony of Jean-Yves Carpanèse, new Head of French American School of Rhode Island

Welcome to Jean-Yves Carpanèse new Head of School at the French American School of Rhode Island, FASRI. Willy LeBihan, Founder and Head of School of l’Ecole Française du Maine,  journeyed from Freeport for the Installation to share his own experiences in a school from the AEFE network (agence pour l’enseignement française à l’étranger).  


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wildlife Park in Gray, Maine

Students of first grade and Kindergarten spent a day at the Wildlife park in Gray.  They discovered Maine wildlife living all around that they might one day cross paths with. Thanks to the guide, they were able to touch animal skins, feathers and teeth. Then we went for a walk to see all the animals, including:
lynx, mountain lions, bears, moose, raccoons, deer, porcupines, etc.  
Un grand merci to all the chaperones!