Hi. My name is Laurel Lokant and I teach French in an urban high school in Winston-Salem, NC. I have been teaching for 25 years and have organized 15 group tours overseas. However, I was looking for something more enriching for my students, something that would make a deeper impression and perhaps lifelong friendships. Last fall, I started a project with a school in Creteil, France (just outside of Paris). My French colleague and I matched up 13 of our students to become penpals and we also did a few class projects through skype. We arranged a short term homestay so that each of the kids can experience a new culture and practice their language skills. Each student will host one in their home. They will go to school with their penpal, and do all the things that they typically would do as a teenager in that culture. The French group will arrive in North Carolina in October and stay for a week. Then, I will be taking my group to France in April to have the same type of experience.
I wanted to offer my students a different opportunity than just an organized tour so they had an opportunity to really make a connection with a French family and promote global understanding.
We are crowdfunding because many of my students are economically challenged, come from single parent homes without a lot of money and will not be able to go if we cannot raise the money. I have written 2 grants to try and get funding and am searching for a business to partner with as well. We need the 15,000 dollars so that everyone will be able to go and be able to eat while there. The trip will cost about 1600.00 per person. We have also planned to do fundraising during the school year. I am no stranger to fundraising because I had to raise a lot of money to produce the yearbook for several years.
I am excited about the chance to take students to live with a family for a short time. This is the first time my school has ever offered this type of opportunity. One of the courses I teach is IB French and it is important to day to become a globally responsible citizen. My dream is that this homestay will help contribute to that goal.
Even if we don’t reach our final goal of 15,000, anything helps! The money will go towards airfare and meals.
You can be a part of this exciting project and help teens from other countries learn about one another. The ability to get along and understand one another is so important to the future of our society!
Please share our campaign on all you social media websites and get others to do the same to spread the word. Thank you in advance for helping my students.
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