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French Students Aid Africa


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Each year, the sophomore French students at Verona High school get the opportunity to study a specific French-speaking country. They create a “country in a box” to show the culture of their chosen francophone country. They learn about the culture, land and history. Unfortunately, many of the histories involve extreme poverty and starvation. After learning about the horrible conditions in which children in these countries live, a unanimous decision was made to help.

To take this project to the next level, the French Club and French Honor Society banded together to make a difference. On June 4 and June 5, these groups held a bake sale and put the money towards the Ouagadougou Elementary School in Burkina Faso, a French-speaking country in Western Africa. The money raised was donated to help the children buy school supplies and afford their tuition.

In addition, the French students sacrificed their lunch time to donate food to struggling countries. During their lunch periods on June 5, every French student was invited to spend time on the web site FreeRice.com. FreeRice is a free online game that allows players to raise rice to fight world hunger while learning through educational, multiple-choice questions.

For every question answered correctly, 10 grains of rice are donated to the United Nations’ World Food Programme. Through this web site, the students tested their knowledge of the French language and culture while also helping the less fortunate. All together, the French students donated enough rice to feed 565 hungry people.

To make this philanthropic activity more appealing, VHS French teacher Madame Mordkovich offered prizes to the students who were able to answer the most questions correctly during their lunch period. The top three scorers of the day were Kendall O’Neill, Niklas Bostrom and Megan Burnham. They each were rewarded with gift cards to Dunkin’ Donuts for their efforts.

Who knew that a simple class assignment on French-speaking countries would turn into a school-wide effort to make a difference in the developing countries that need our help?

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