After two weeks of whirlwind activities, a 23rd successful French Exchange ended on Tuesday as Shorecrest hosts bid "au revoir" to their new French friends. There were many tears as Shorecrest families and Bayen students said good-bye.
The two week visit by students from Shorecrest’s sister school, Lycée Bayen in Châlons-en-Champagne, France, was full of all kinds of activities both on and off campus. The students, along with their teachers and Principal, visited many local sites such as The Florida Aquarium, Ybor City, Sawgrass Park, a Manatee viewing station, Morgenson's strawberry farm, the Dalí Museum, service at Fort DeSoto, Heritage Village and John’s Pass. Their host families treated them to visits at many other local attractions and restaurants.
In addition to interacting with their Shorecrest host families, the French students visited Lower School Spanish class and Middle School French class to get to know more Chargers. Fourth graders paired up with visitors and interviewed them in Spanish. After the interview they introduced the French student to their class. They did everything in Spanish, since the French students are studying Spanish as well. With sixth graders they took turns practicing introductions and getting to know each other in French, and played an animated game about French history on Kahoot.
The two schools shared a symbolic ribbon cutting ceremony, in which the Bayen Principal Catherine Corvellec gave a statement of gratitude to the United States for much of the liberty enjoyed by France. Bayen teachers Patricia Waechter and Séverine Bollot, along with Shorecrest Headmaster Mike Murphy and faculty members Jackie Carnes and Sidy Ndiaye, joined in as a ribbon in the colors of the two countries' flags was cut - and in French tradition pieces of the ribbon were given to attendees.
A big thank you to all the hosts and their families for their generous hospitality! The students returned to France with many precious memories of their time here at Shorecrest. A group of Chargers will enjoy a trip to France later this month.