Sunday, November 9, 2014

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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