Kimberley’s new French school had its first day of classes this past week, a long time coming and a much welcomed occasion for the area’s French population.
“It feels good, we’re really excited about it,” said Marie-Christine Cadieux, a parent who relaunched the bid to get the school opened. “The kids are excited and I hope that it stays that way, like I know for my son he’s the only boy. There’s going to be another boy in Kindergarten, but the age difference you know, he’s in Grade 3. But I know this summer he was like ‘I’m really excited to go to French school.”
Cadieux is originally from Quebec and has been in Kimberley for 11 years. She says the parents of the students of the school are a tight knit group.
“We’ve known each other since my son was in daycare, or even prenatal class,” she said. “We’ve known each other for that long, so it’s nice because we all know each other. Our kids are all part of the same activities like skiing and stuff like that.
The opening of the school and the opportunity for all of their children to learn together, in French, means a lot to these parents.
“Just to hear your own language, and to be able to speak it on a day-to-day basis, it’s just really nice,” she said.
Cadieux also had only great things to say about the school’s principal Elena Lamarre, who moved here from Quebec at the chance to live and work in Kimberley at the new French school.
“Our first day of school went great,” Lamarre said. “We were all thrilled to do our first day. The students got to know their teacher, got the chance to get familiar with the classrooms, with the school field and the trails in the forest.”
Lamarre said the first day was spent doing plenty of activities planned for the students, both inside and outside the school, which is located in the same building as Purcell Preschool in Meadowbrook. Lamarre said throughout the school year they will utilize outdoor education whenever possible.
“We have a beautiful forest and a lot of land, might as well enjoy it,” she said. “It was very moving to see all the stars in the eyes of the kids and their parents. They had reached their goal! I am feeling so privileged to be a part of the opening of the French-speaking school of Kimberley.”
She added all that all the students were very happy to discover the possibilities this new school has to offer.
“Every discovery was like a surprise for them,” she said. “So, the parents were also happy to note the smiles on their children faces when they came to pick them up.”