Veronique Day is working toward bridging worlds.
At Destrehan High School, Day, the school’s French teacher, is working on a variety of strategies aimed at increasing class enrollment, as well as the student body’s interest in French language and culture.
“I’ve always had an idea for kids to learn the language and have the experience of living in a different country, especially the kids in Destrehan who are so sheltered,” said the native of Paris, France. “It’s a good thing for them, especially to make them better global citizens and have access to the world outside.”
When she was approached by Nicholas Torres, a representative of the French Consul with Louisiana, and asked if she was interested in building a relationship between DHS and the Satellite Center with France, Day welcomed the opportunity. A French delegation will deliberate on which Louisiana schools could match up with Bretagne, France, for a possible exchange program.
The goal was to identify high schools in Louisiana suitable for an exchange program, which would allow teachers to build a program with corresponding teachers in France. Day said this would allow students from both countries to share experiences in each country.
“In doing so, one hopes the two groups of students – French and American – would get an interesting experience to the countries,” she said. “And they could learn what it would be like to be different toward being more compassionate and more open.”
French officials visited DHS in late April. Day anticipates hearing from them by fall. Funds would have to be raised to cover costs like airfare. If approved, the program could be running within a year.
“I’ve always had an idea for kids to learn the language and have the experience of living in a different country.” — Veronique Day
In the semesters to come, Day also is advocating for a French 3 dual enrollment class that would allow DHS students to earn college credit. She is meeting with Southeastern Louisiana University in late May toward setting up the credit.
“It’s a lot of work,” Day said of becoming proficient in speaking a language. “You have to be ready to humble yourself and work. It activates a different part of the brain, which usually stays put. It’s good for your brain and there is so many different ways that learning a different language is good for you, such as being more analytical.”
The French connection
- Veronique Day has been a French teacher at Destrehan High School for four years.
- Day was an art professor prior to coming to DHS.
- She is a native of Paris, France.