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ETHS Awarded French Heritage Language Program Grant from Villa Albertine of the French Embassy in the U.S.

April 3, 2024  9:15am CT


ETHS students and staff hosted a French delegation for a tour of the school campus.
ETHS students and staff hosted a French delegation, led by Mohamed Bouabdallah, Cultural Counselor of France in the United States, for a tour of the school campus. 


Evanston Township High School has been awarded a grant of $30,000 from the French Heritage Language Program, an initiative of Villa Albertine (Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States).


The French Heritage Language Program (FHLP), part of the French for All initiative launched by President of France Emmanuel Macron in 2022, aims to help high school students who recently immigrated to the United States leverage the French language skills they use at home as an asset in their new life through programs such as AP coursework, college prep, and programs in the arts, all with a focus on West African and Caribbean cultures. The funds are intended to serve as a catalyst for the development of enriching educational initiatives and initiatives that foster a deep appreciation for the French language and culture in the United States.


ETHS will use the grant to assist in the development of an after school program designed to aid French-speaking students, including newcomers and other students with francophone roots, in preserving their linguistic and cultural heritage. The program will serve to support their academic success and wellbeing, while engaging them in a critical inquiry cycle of action to find new ways to advance inclusion and belonging for French-speaking and other multilingual students. The funding will also support ETHS’s new French Heritage Language course offered starting this fall, which will facilitate advanced language proficiency and allow students to connect with and explore their cultural heritage.


Villa Albertine (Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States) will work in close coordination with ETHS’s Multilingual Department to develop this extracurricular program. Beyond financial support, the FHLP also offers its grantees access to a catalog of curated educational materials tailored to cater to the specific needs and proficiency levels of heritage language speakers as well as one-on-one support from the FHLP Program Coordinator.


In recognition of this new partnership, ETHS welcomed a French delegation led by Mohamed Bouabdallah, Cultural Counselor of France in the United States, for a formal visit and tour of our school campus on April 1, 2024.


“We are honored to receive this grant and look forward to our partnership with the French Embassy and the Albertine Foundation,” said ETHS Superintendent Marcus Campbell. “This funding will bolster our efforts to ensure that our French-speaking students seeking to maintain vital connections to their heritage have access to the resources and opportunities they need to thrive within our school community and beyond.”


ETHS is home to a significant number of multilingual students, which includes students with French identified as a primary or secondary language. The majority of these French-speaking students identify as BIPOC and have immigrated to the United States within the past five years from the Caribbean, namely Haiti, and African countries including the Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, among other countries where French is a national language. Many of these students choose to enroll in French as their World Language course option; this new FHLP-funded programming will contribute to their language proficiency, facilitate the maintenance of their rich cultural heritage, and provide a unique opportunity for students to explore and strengthen their cultural and linguistic identities.


In addition to the Cultural Counselor, the French delegation included Nicolas Douay, Education Attaché; Axelle Moleur, Cultural Attaché; and Eileen Walvoord, President of the American Association of Teachers of French.