Monday, December 7, 2009

Concert November 24: Piano

On November 24, the first Suzuki music concert of the year was performed by the school students. We enjoyed many performances of piano, guitar, violin and cello. Students of Yasmin Craig Vitalius (violin), Nathan Kolosko (guitar), Chiharu Naruse (piano), Leah Neuchiller (piano), Benjamin Noyes (cello) and Gordon Wilcox (cello) treated the audience with many beautiful pieces. Bravo to all the children!

Following are video extracts of the concert.
Please click 'play' to watch Markus performing Slippin' Around by M. Mier.

Concert November 24: Twinkle graduation

During the concert, Romain had his Twinkle graduation. Click play to view an extract of his performance. He was accompanied by his teacher, Nathan Kolosko.
Bravo Romain!

Concert of November 24: Guitar

Please click 'play' to watch Colin and Chloe perform Waltz by M. Guiliani accompanied by their teacher, Nathan Kolosko.

Concert of November 24: Violin

Please click 'play' to view an extract of the Harry Potter Medley (John Williams) played by Elise and accompanied by Leah Neuchiller.

Concert of November 24: Cello

Please click 'play' to view Alex playing Etude by Suzuki.

Les instruments

Nous avons regardé les instruments de Marco. / We looked at Marco's instruments.
Nous avons écouté la musique de Marco. / We listened to Marco's music.
Merci Marco! / Thank you Marco!
La classe de Grande Section - CP / The K-1 class

Monday, November 23, 2009

La tarte à la citrouille!

Last Friday we cooked with Mary-Lou’s help. We made pumpkin pies.
Mary-Lou made the crust and we made the filling. We mixed sugar, eggs, pumpkin, milk and cinnamon. To decorate the pies, we cut out leaves and pumpkins in the dough.
Then we tasted it. It was delicious!

Thank you for your help Mary-Lou!

La classe des petits et des moyens

Friday, November 20, 2009

Le poisson

When we arrived in class Monday morning, we saw something new. There was a big box covered by a blanket. Mimi, our mascot, was sleeping on top of it. We came closer to listen. Some said it sounded like water, others that it sounded like a fan…

Then we counted, Valerie removed the blanket and we discovered a FISH! It is our new friend. We feed it and observe it. We even gave it a name. After researching names the class voted for FLEUR (flower).

We are going to do activities on fish and learn many different things about them.

La classe des Petits et Moyens.

Freeport area trail maps

Thanks to a grant from Healthy Casco Bay, a program of the Maine Healthy Partnerships, Freeport Conservation Trust has developed Freeport area trail maps for properties protected by FCT and the Town of Freeport. The maps are intended to encourage healthful outdoor recreational activities such as walking, jogging, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing by people of all ages.

There are 5 trail maps: South Freeport, Cousins River area, East Freeport, North Freeport and Hedgehog Mountain, with plans to develop and distribute a map of downtown Freeport trails during 2010.

Four of the area maps may be downloaded from FCT’s web site:, and the Hedgehog Mountain map is available from the Town website, Look under Boards and Committees, Documents.

If you would like additional information about Freeport Conservation Trust and its public access trails, please contact the Trust’s office at 869-1012 or by email to

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

USM youth ensembles to perform at Merrill

One of the most outstanding musical programs for youth in Northern New England, the USM Youth Ensembles will present their annual fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 19, 2009, in Merrill Auditorium in Portland.

Suggested donation is $6 for the general public; $3 for children. Seating is unreserved. Call the Music Box Office for more information at 780-5555. A reception will follow in the rehearsal room.

Consisting of four instrumental ensembles, the program brings together more than 200 of the best young musicians in southern and central Maine to rehearse weekly at the University of Southern Maine School of Music on the Gorham campus. Twice a year these talented youth present outstanding concerts in Portland City Hall's Merrill Auditorium. The program is supported by the Sam L. Cohen Foundation.

This November the musical program will open with the Portland Youth Wind Ensemble, conducted by Peter Martin, performing "Dance of the Jesters" by Peter Tchaikovsky. The large ensemble will then perform "Music for Prague 1968" by the contemporary composer, Karel Husa. "Music for Prague 1968" is one of the most significant and powerful compositions of the twentieth century. (On August 20, 1968, troops from the Soviet Union and its allies invaded Czechoslovakia.) Binding the composition together is the Hussite war song from the 11th century, "Ye Warriors of God and His Law," a symbol of resistance and hope for hundreds of years whenever fate lay heavy on the Czech nation.

Next to take the stage will be the Portland Young People's String Consort -- now in its 31th year. This ensemble includes the youngest of the players and gives these less advanced string players a chance to become familiar with playing in an ensemble, following a conductor, and gaining formal concert experience. Established in 1979, the PYPSC offers adjunct support to string programs in Maine schools.

They are led by Deborah Dabczynski -- a Portland Symphony Orchestra cellist for more than 30 years and formerly host and script writer for PSO's Kinderkonzerts. The PYPSC program includes "Rondeau" by Mouret; the "Wood Splitter Fanfare" by B. Balmages; the first movement of the Brandenburg Concerto #1 by Bach; and "Conquistador!" by D.B. Monday.

Ferdinand Liva, interim conductor of the Portland Youth Junior Orchestra, will lead the next group in two complete works -- "Concerto Grosso Opus 6, No. 10" by Arcangelo Corelli; and "Capriol Suite for String Orchestra" by Peter Warlock, based on dance tunes from Arbeau's "Orchesographie" of 1588.

The Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Robert Lehmann, will close the evening's program. One of the oldest youth orchestras in the entire country, the PYSO was formed in 1942. They will perform the overture to "La Gazza Ladra" (The thieving magpie) by Gioacchino Rossini; "Siegfried's Funeral March" from "Gotterdammerung" by Richard Wagner; and "The Moldau" by Bedrich Smetana.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Annual meeting at the French Embassy in Washington, DC

From Oct 22-24, 2009, the Directors of the 46 French schools in North America gathered at the French Embassy in Washington, DC for their annual meeting and Beth and Willy were in attendance. Among the topics discussed were the “socle commun”, which corresponds to the learning results of the French Ministry of Education, the assessment results of students in grades 2 and 5 from the last academic year, and new report cards currently being designed.

The Director of the AEFE (Agence pour l’Enseignement Français à l’Etranger), Madame Descôtes, described the agency's efforts to promote the value of French education to American Universities and presented a new website for parents, teachers and administrators ( This website presents practical information about school life in the French schools in North America in both French and English.

Madame Descôtes also addressed the Directors on the topic of a newly imposed contribution to the AEFE to be paid by schools that are accredited members of the agency. The fees imposed are equal to 1% of each school’s annual tuition income. Many Heads of Schools voiced their strong opposition to this newly imposed fee structure. Madame Descôtes justified the fees by stressing the quality of the services offered by the AEFE to our schools: (professional development, annual school inspections including personal visits for the Inspecteur de l'Education Nationale, the availability of our certified French teachers to maintain their professional steps in the French system through “détachement” (equivalent to sabbatical) among other benefits.

Kareen Rispal, Cultural Attaché at the French Embassy, presented several exciting upcoming projects including math contests and poetry contests and a theatre competition offered for the upcoming year.

M. Bonnet, Director of International Affairs at the French Ministry of Education, presented the new procedures for accreditation with the French Ministry of Education. The newly appointed Director of MLF, Jean-Christophe Deberre, met with the Heads of Schools affiliated with the MLF (including L'Ecole Française du Maine), to plan professional development opportunities through the MLF for our teachers in the next academic year. M. Georges Alzina, Inspector of Education Nationale in North America, made a presentation on second language acquisition in the bilingual context, and how to develop strategies for assisting students with learning challenges.

There were many opportunities for Beth and Willy to collaborate with the other Heads of Schools represented at the conference. It is always a positive experience to share ideas and experiences with our colleagues in this unique learning environment.

La rencontre

On Friday November 6, the children went to Lewiston, ME. They performed in front of a Francophone audience during La Rencontre, an event organized monthly by the Franco-American Heritage Center. The program included songs, dances and violin performances. It was a big success.

"Thank you so much for the wonderful program l'Ecole presented at La Rencontre last Friday. Your time and talent are truly appreciated. Merci beaucoup." Rita Dube, Executive Director of the Franco-American Heritage Center - Lewiston, Maine.

Thanks to all the parents who came to watch and who helped with carpooling. Merci beaucoup to the Franco-American Heritage Center for providing lunch to all the children.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Halloween parade...

Photos by Warren Miskell

During the school's Halloween parade, the children went to the post office to show off their wonderful costumes and trick or treat!

New class furniture!

The new furniture has arrived in Clarisse's and Friederike's classrooms!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Suzuki book 5 graduation

On Friday October 30, Elise, 7th grade student at L'Ecole Française du Maine, had her violin graduation for Suzuki book 5. She played many beautiful pieces. Please click on the video to view Elise and Suzuki violin teacher, Yasmin Craig Vitalius, performing a Concerto for Two Violins by Bach. Félicitations!

Friday, October 30, 2009

A special lunch for Halloween!

Today's lunch was prepared specially by a witch. Witches soup, Cheddar cobwebs, Ghost sandwiches, Pumpkin cupcakes and Spiced cider were on the menu! Miam!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Green Bean Kickoff on November 11th

You are invited to a Freeport Rotary hosted reception & celebration on Wednesday, November 11th from 5:00pm-7:00pm: Green Bean Kickoff
Please RSVP to Nicole Bosarge by November 9th: / (207) 772-2151 Location: Freeport Community Center, 53 Depot Street, Freeport, ME 04032

"Thank you so much for donating your time, talents and donations
towards our new home, it truly means the world to my family" Mikki Cote,
Habitat Partner & future homeowner Hosted by the Freeport Rotary Club

Keynote Speaker Craig John will present his inspirational stories of scaling Mount
Everest and several of the world's tallest peaks.

$10.00 requested donation at the door
Appetizers & Cash bar - Children's activities available - Silent Auction

Monday, October 26, 2009

Letter exchange

Bonjour !

The CE1, CE2 and CM1 class is very excited to present a new project this year : a letter exchange with a class in France. It is a class of 26 CM1 from Maine-et-Loire, in a little village called Saint-Melaine-sur-Aubance.

The specialty of our exchange is that we write in French and the class from France uses English. So far, we received pictures with small presentations of the French children as well as a giant puzzle saying « nice to meet you » . We have sent a big envelope in September, where we presented our class and sent them a list of questions we worked on in class, as well as a map of Maine. In our next mail, we will give them a little presentation and a little quiz on Halloween, which is not as popular in France as here. We will send them a game to discover us with a picture and a description of ourselves.

It has been truly wonderful to see the excitement and motivation of the children for this project.

Merci beaucoup,

Elodie Le Nezet-Soule

Flying Point Oysters

Photos by Warren Miskell

The Coast of Maine has long been known for its pristine shoreline, strong tides and ice-cold waters.
These natural conditions have made Maine a reliable source for premium quality seafood for centuries. Today this tradition lives on. Maine's rich ocean harvest continues to satisfy seafood enthusiasts year after year.
In keeping with this tradition of premium quality, Flying Point Oysters are a special example of Maine Seafood at its very best.
Flying Point oysters are farmed by a husband and wife team in Freeport, Maine.

What gives Flying Point Oysters their outstanding flavor?
Flying Point Oysters derive their complex, salty/sweet flavor from the waters in which they are grown. Strong, incoming tides nourish them with cold, briny ocean water. Swift outgoing tides provide the oysters with a rich array of nutrients from the vast wetlands to the north of the growout site. This dynamic environment gives the Flying Point Oysters its outstanding flavor.

A great deal of care and attention is invested in the cultivation of each Flying Point Oyster. The results are being enjoyed in America's finest restaurants and can also be purchased right here in Freeport.

To order, please call (207) 221-5172 (Valy: art teacher at L'Ecole Française du Maine)

Petites - perfect for serving on the half shell: 0.75 each ($9.00 /doz)
Selects - Ideal for grilling, broiling or oyster stew: $1.00 each

Friday, October 23, 2009

Field trip to the oyster farm

Photos by Warren Miskell

On Friday October 9, 2009, the children from grades 2 through 7 went on a field trip to the oyster farm. They learned about the development stages of the oysters.
In the spring of each year, oyster seedlings are purchased from a local hatchery and placed in a floating nursery system. In the fall, when the oysters have reached 1"-2", they are removed from the nursery and transported, via barge, to their final growout location. Once at the growout site, the oysters are planted directly on the bottom, and then harvested two to three harvest years later.
From seed to harvest, it takes about three years for an oyster to reach market size.
They also learned about all the aspects of oyster farming.
It was very interesting!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Ellis Island: The Dream of America

On Monday October 5 the students of grades 2 to 7 went to the Merrill Auditorium where Ellis Island: The Dream of America was performed by the Portland Symphony orchestra.
Ellis Island: The Dream of America is a work for actors and orchestra with projected images by American composer Peter Boyer, composed in 2001-02, commissioned by the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, Connecticut. The work combines first-person narrations of seven immigrants who entered the United States through Ellis Island between 1910 and 1940, selected by Boyer from the Ellis Island Oral History Project, with Boyer’s original orchestral music. The work has received over 80 performances by 40 orchestras. A recording of the work released on the Naxos record label was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition in 2006.

Field trip to Wolfe's Neck Farm for Pre-K and K-1 classes

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Vrais Amis

Thanks to all that attended and supported the first annual "Vrais Amis". The event was a superb evening with 150+ people attending the Wine tasting and Auction evening at the Portland Harbor Hotel.
We were honored that the newly appointed Consul General of France Mr. Christophe GUILHOU, in his first official capacity, attended the event and the Honorary Consul for France in Maine, Mr. Severin Beliveau, was in attendance as well.
We were pleased that the Portland Press Herald and Portland Magazine were on hand to take pictures. Look in the November issue of Portland Magazine to see photos from the event.
Premier Bordeaux wines were served and Executive Chef Earl MORSE served specially created Hors d'oeuvres to compliment the wines. A Live Auction, by Mike CAREY of Tranzon Auctions, was the highlight of the evening.

Special thanks to the sponsors who supported the "Vrais Amis" event:
Portland Harbor Hotel
MS Walker
Pet Pantry's
Michele Shems
Cape Elizabeth Garden Club
Creating Wellness at Innate
Petrillos Restaurant
The Baker Family
Consul General of Canada
David's 388
Drillen Hardware
The Langham Hotel in Boston
Fore Season Indoor Golf
Winslow Park
Scott & Lynn
Charles Foehl & Sara Mayo
Rangely Lake Resort
Rings Marine Service
Libby Whittier
Jen Burris Designs
Hyatt Place at Mohegan Sun
Art Night Out
Hyatt Place at the Mohegan Sun
Art Night Out
Rock Paper Scissors
Sail Maine
Blue Sky Svaroopa Yoga Studio
Tranzon Auctions
Zeil Dougher and Fred Morin
RD Allen Jewelers
Garrand Marketing
Freeport Art Club (Contributing artists: Christy Deveault, Gail Morgan, Cindy Asherman, Mary Berry, Lynn Bickford, Corrine Bongiovanni, Maybelle Crasnick, Charlie Drew, Diana Johnson, Margareta McDonald, Gayl McNally, Mort Pannish, David and Pricilla McKeith)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Border Crossings: Kolosko-Dimow Duo at the Museum of Art

Border Crossings
Kolosko-Dimow Duo
October 7, 1:00 p.m.
Colby College Museum of Art
Waterville, Maine

Nathan Kolosko, classical guitar; Carl Dimow, flute and bass flute

The Kolosko-Dimow Duo will feature works from their new recording, Border Crossings, which draws on elements of classical music, world music, and jazz: Dimow's Klezmer Suite, Kolosko's Nayarit Suite (inspired by the novel The Pearlby Steinbeck), and the duo's collaborative arrangements of the Afro Sambas by the legendary Brazilian guitarist Baden Powell. Colby applied guitar faculty Carl Dimow appears here as flutist with critically acclaimed classical guitarist Nathan Kolosko.

Funded in part by the Freda M. Charles Music Fund

More concert dates for Nathan Kolosko

- The ISQ - Improvisational String Quartet - with Jozef van Wissem - Saturday October 17th, 8:00 pm
Space Gallery Space Gallery

- Kolosko-Dimow Duo December 10th, 12 noon
UNE noonday concert

- Nathan Kolosko - Thursday January 14th, 12 noon

New Recordings (to be released this fall)

- Border Crossings - This long awaited second release with Carl Dimow will include two new large scale compositions by each of us and our own arrangements of Baden Powell's Afro-Sambas. CD release concert TBA.

- Enso - Recorded in Tokyo with guitarist Dan Cosley. This recording contains two new compositions as well as a set of structured improvisations. The sonic variety on this recording is quite dramatic.

Below is a link to sound samples of my new composition from the recording, Yangisse jarabi: Published by Production d'OZ

Thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm!!


Nathan Kolosko

Les papillons

We had monarch caterpillars in the class since the beginning of the year. We watched them evolve into cocoons and butterflies and released the first one a few days ago. We even made cards to announce the birth of the butterfly!

The K-1 class.

Lewiston Cabaret!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

“Merci” car restoration celebration at the railway village on October 10th

All photos by Don Gaither, from the collection of Chris Allen.

The historic “Merci” Car, also known as the 40&8 Car, is a French railroad boxcar built in France in 1886, and is now part of the collection at the Boothbay Railway Village museum. The Car, filled with over 1,000 personal gifts from French citizens to the citizens of Maine, arrived in Maine in 1949 as part of The Gratitude Train, a French response -- a collective “merci,” or thank you -- for 700 box cars, called the Freedom Train, filled with relief supplies from the people of the United States. The relief supplies in the Freedom Train were sent to France in 1947 to help alleviate the devastation caused by the ravages of the Nazi occupation in World War II.

The Gratitude Train, or “Merci” Train, was also a response of the French people to the sacrifices made by Americans to protect France in WWI, and to liberate France from the Nazi occupation in WWII. Most of the gifts contained in the Maine Merci Car are preserved at the Maine State Museum in Augusta.

2009 marks the 60th Anniversary of the arrival of the Maine Merci Car in Maine. This historic boxcar was one of a 49 car railroad train, one for each of the then 48 States and one for the “territories” sent by the French people in February of 1949. It is only one of 39 such cars known to exist today. To mark the 60th Anniversary, the Boothbay Railway Village, with the help of volunteers and over twenty individual and organizational donors, is restoring the superstructure of the boxcar to look as it did when it arrived in 1949. The car was festooned with 46 plaques and banners, including the crests of each of the 40 French provinces that existed in 1949. The Railway Village is also launching a donor drive to raise additional funds to build a protective pavilion for the Maine Merci Train and a small endowment for its future preservation and for educational programs. A list of current donors may be found on the Railroad Village website,

The restoration unveiling and ceremony on Saturday, October 10th at 1 pm, will open with a presentation of the flags of the United States, France, Maine and the “La Societe des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux,” (the 40&8 Society) a philanthropic organization of American veterans organized after WWI in 1921, by an honor guard of the Society. The “40&8” designation refers to the fact that the boxcar could carry forty men (“hommes”) or 8 horses (“chevaux”).

The Honorable, M. Christophe Guilhou, Consul General of France in Boston, will greet the attendees in French and English.

Mr. Joseph R. Phillips, Director of the Maine State Museum, where the gifts from the people of France to the people of Maine are preserved, will also speak on the history of the Maine Merci Car. Photos of some of the gifts will be available for viewing.

Mr. Earl Bennett, of Florida, a catalyst behind the restoration of the Merci/40&8 Cars throughout the United States, and founder of the website, will also talk about the history of the Merci and Gratitude Trains.

The ceremony is expected to last forty minutes and will take place during the first day of the annual Fall Foliage Festival and Fair, considered one of the top Fall Fairs in the northeast. Gates to the Railway Village on Rte 27 South in Boothbay open at 9:30 am, and there is a nominal admission charge of $2.00, which supports the work of the Boothbay Civic Association and the Boothbay Railway Village. Additional contributions are welcomed.

The Boothbay Railway Village is a non-profit, 401 3(c) cultural and historical organization, located at 586 Wiscasset Road (Rte 27 South), Boothbay, Maine. To find out more about this event, or the work of The Railway Village, see their website,, or call 207-633-4727.

The plaque of the crest of the Province of Maine, France, one of forty provincial crests, which will adorn the historic, restored Maine Merci/Forty&8 Railroad Car being restored at the Boothbay Railway Village. Mr. Severin Beliveau, Honorable Consul of France for the State of Maine, sponsored this crest. Details of this and all sponsors of this restoration effort may be viewed on The Village website,

L'Ecole Française du Maine was happy to contribute to this project through the sponsorship of a plaque of the Brittany region of France, a replica of the original plaque which decorated the "Merci Car" upon its arrival to the United States.


Last Friday, we started to work on the theme of water. We gave a bath to our baby, Emma. We learned new vocabulary and spoke about hygiene.Then we made an experiment with objects from the classroom to observe if they would sink or float. We glued photos of the objects on a chart. We had fun!

The children of Petite et Moyenne section.