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French immersion cancellation at Marystown school a concern for MHA

['Letter to the editor']
['Letter to the editor']

Dear Editor: I am writing to express my surprise and disappointment as news emerged this week of a plan by the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District to cancel enrollment for the September 2018 kindergarten French immersion class at Sacred Heart Academy in Marystown.

The French immersion program has existed, and thrived, at Sacred Heart Academy since 1985, providing countless parents the opportunity to have their children immersed in French. I, myself, had the great fortune of being enrolled in this program, and know the benefits of being bilingual first-hand.

Marystown’s French immersion program has existed as one of the small number of places to offer it as a result of advocacy and the long held community belief in the benefits of learning in both of Canada’s official languages.  

As we work hard to attract industry and jobs to our region, from the Grieg Project to the CFI project to the onset of work at Kiewit again, having a French immersion program in Marystown has always given the community an advantage in attracting prospective workers to the area. We cannot afford to allow this to change.  

The learning of French matters – strong advocates have kept this program in place and now we must do the same. I have written local elected school board trustee, Mr. Corey Parsons, calling on the school board to halt this decision until a thorough and inclusive consultation with concerned members of the community has occurred. I encourage parents and local residents to do the same.

Mark Browne, MHA

Placentia West-Bellevue

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