30th birthday fête

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - News

BY MAR­GARET CALDBICK

Staff Pri­mary tongue ed­u­ca­tion helps peo­ple con­nect to their cul­ture and her­itage, and with pro­fi­ciency, helps in­di­vid­u­als en­gage eas­ily and suc­cess­fully in learn­ing tasks.

This was the think­ing be­hind an ini­tia­tive launched in 1987 by “Les Trois p’tits points,” Alexan­dria’s French lan­guage cul­tural cen­tre, to cre­ate a lit­er­acy pro­gram for fran­co­phones in Glen­garry.

By 1989, the new Cen­tre A La P.A.G.E’s win­ter ses­sion wel­comed nine stu­dents who at­tended two three-hour French lan­guage work­shops per week. The or­ga­ni­za­tion’s lit­er­acy and com­puter cour­ses gained pop­u­lar­ity and it soon be­came ap­par­ent that night classes needed to be added.

In 2013, the train­ing cen­tre’s name was changed to Car­refour de for­ma­tion pour adultes inc, a new logo was cre­ated, and af­ter many moves over the years, in 2017, the school ended up in its per­ma­nent lo­ca­tion at 624 Main St. in Alexan­dria.

To cel­e­brate the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s 30th an­niver­sary, on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 21, 100 peo­ple at­tended a both funny and poignant birthday party at Mag­gie's Restau­rant in Alexan­dria.

It was a lively evening with trib­utes to teach­ers and heart­felt tes­ti­mo­ni­als from past stu­dents about how the ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre had helped them with their goals, but also seemed like a big fam­ily.

The mas­ter of cer­e­mony was Rachel Anne Nor­mand, a for­mer French lan­guage teacher at Car­refour de for­ma­tion pour adults who moved on to be­come the pro­gram di­rec­tor at not-for­profit La Coali­tion on­tari­enne de for­ma­tion des adultes (COFA) ded­i­cated to pro­mot­ing French­language adult ed­u­ca­tion.

Mem­bers of Alexan­dria’s busi­ness and cul­tural com­mu­nity at­tended and in­di­vid­u­als thanked the or­ga­ni­za­tion for its con­tri­bu­tion to French cul­ture in Glen­garry.

Among the speak­ers was Danielle Du­ranceau, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Com­mu­nity Liv­ing, who ac­knowl­edged the ben­e­fit of an adult French lan­guage adult learn­ing cen­tre for her clients.

The soirée in­cluded a fine buffet sup­per with won­der­ful mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment by chan­son­nier and co­me­dian An­dré Théri­ault of Mon­treal, known for his homage to the great Félix Le­clerc, the Québec singer-song­writer.

There were ac­co­lades from stu­dents for their teach­ers and sev­eral tes­ti­mo­ni­als about how pol­ish­ing up their first lan­guage made it eas­ier to learn how to use and un­der­stand com­puter pro­grams in French.

Among the Car­refour de for­ma­tion teach­ers at­tend­ing was French teacher Ni­cole Bom­bardier who has been with the or­ga­ni­za­tion for 26 years and last May was awarded the COFA top teacher merit award for 2018.

Job­less rate

The re­gional un­em­ploy­ment rate rose from 5.3 to 5.8 per cent in the last month, ac­cord­ing to Sta­tis­tics Canada. The job­less rate re­mains be­low the Novem­ber, 2017 fig­ure of 7.4 per cent. The num­bers are for a re­gion that en­com­passes Stor­mont, Dun­das, Glen­garry, Prescott, Rus­sell, Fron­tenac, La­nark, Leeds and Grenville and Ren­frew coun­ties.

MAR­GARET CALDBICK PHOTO

FRENCH LIT­ER­ACY: At a party cel­e­brat­ing the 30th an­niver­sary of Car­refour de for­ma­tion pour adults inc, Alexan­dria branch SD&G li­brar­ian Sylvie Juteau ex­presses her grat­i­tude to the teach­ers and staff of the train­ing pro­gram in Alexan­dria where she was able to study com­puter pro­grams in her mother tongue with greater com­pre­hen­sion. Sit­ting be­side her is Car­refour in­struc­tor Joanne McCarthy who has been with the or­ga­ni­za­tion for 18 years. Seated at left is the Mas­ter of Cer­e­mony for the evening, for­mer Car­refour French teacher, Rachel Anne Nor­mand, who is now the pro­gram di­rec­tor at La Coali­tion on­tari­enne de for­ma­tion des adultes (COFA) that pro­motes French-lan­guage adult ed­u­ca­tion.

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