Published: Mar 12, 2013 07:00 PM
Modified: Mar 12, 2013 05:34 PM
CHAPEL HILL - A group from Smith Middle School will soon embark on the Spring Break experience of a lifetime.
French Teacher Robin McMahon will explore France and Belgium March 22-April 5 with 30 students, five teachers and Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services Magda Parvey.
Students and teachers will stay with host families in Liège, Belgium. They will attend classes at their sister-school, Saint-Benoit Saint-Servais, visit a chocolate factory, take an excursion with their pen pals to Luxembourg and attend a seminar at the European Commission in Brussels.
During the second week, they will walk the beaches of Normandy, investigate medieval architecture of Mont St. Michel, practice impressionist painting in Monet’s Giverny and wonder at the marvels of Paris.
This trip was largely funded through a “Getting to Know Europe” grant awarded by the European Union and the support of bioMérieux, Inc., a local French company located in Durham. Because of the commitment and support of both the European Union and bioMérieux, the opportunities for growth have become more equitable, as students who may never have traveled will benefit from a “vision of the world” beyond the classroom.
BioMérieux, a worldwide leader in microbiology solutions, has invited students and teachers to their local facilities for a send-off celebration and tour on Thursday. The company will also welcome a group to Lyon, France, for a tour of production facilities and demo labs, lunch and walking tour of Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France and birthplace of Marcel Mérieux, who worked alongside Louis Pasteur.
Professional journalist, Rob Holliday, will be uploading video every day as the students discover Europe. These videos can be viewed on the gettingtoknoweurope.org
website. Second group
A second group from Smith Middle School, led by Principal Phil Holmes, along with Assistant Principal Esther Halm and teacher Suzanne Smith, will explore with 13 students and get to know firsthand about Europe from March 28 to April 5. The group will spend two days in Brussels before heading to Paris on the high-speed train to spend five days in the City of Lights. While in Belgium, they will attend a seminar at the European Commission and tour the capital of Europe. While in Paris, they will learn extensively about European art and architecture by visiting famous monuments and museums.
Both European travel groups from Smith Middle will be conducting inquiry projects that will be on display at the school’s Europe Day on May 9.
French teacher Natalie Gaut from Carrboro High will take a third group to France, consisting of 23 students and three chaperones. The students will spend three days in Paris. They will then take the train to La Rochelle, in the south of France, where they will meet their host families. Last year, 28 French students came to Carrboro High School and stayed with local families. While in La Rochelle, Carrboro High students will spend more time with the friends they made last year and spend time at the host high school. They will study the history as well as the geography of the region.
Finally, French teachers Jessica Kelley, Culbreth Middle, and Jennifer Sparrow, McDougle Middle, will explore France with 14 students and one parent from March 28 through April 4. They will visit Normandy, Mont St. Michel, Rouen, Loire Valley and, Paris.
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