In an exciting display of cross-cultural amity, 13 students from France paid a recent visit to the middle school to give eighth-graders studying French a chance to converse in the language with peers.
The visiting French students, ranging in age from 13 to 18 and accompanied by teachers Jean Marc Emarot and Celine Pugnet, hailed from the township of Velizy-Villacoublay, a suburb of Paris near Versailles. The group’s two-week trip to the U.S., coordinated through their camp, Service Jeuness de la Ville de Velizy-Villacoublay, was the result of a two-year town fundraising effort they dubbed “20 mille lieux sur la terre,” meaning “20 thousand places on earth.”
East Islip students who participated, all in their second year of French classes, included Farqaleet Akram, Hanna Benardos, Sophie Bingham, Marykate Carroll, Hannah Christy, Julia Desiderio, Faith Flaherty, Karina Gallagher, Trevor Garnett, Timothy Hartmann,Tristan Herr, Shannon Hubany, Andrew Johnson, Danielle Kaczynski, Joshua Koretz, Anna Langman, Samuel Lichter, Kylie McConnell, Stephanie Milito, Jillian Missig, Nicole Muroff, Nicole O’Connor, Emily Palomba, Gabriella Pannullo, Liam Puglisi, Maggie Ruland, Katelyn Spina, Ryan Strasser, Colin Tadlock and Isilay Yildiz.
“This was such an extraordinary and exciting encounter for our eighth-grade French language students,” said teacher Marina Poulis. “Having French and American teenagers interact with each other enabled them all to experience each other’s culture outside the classroom.”