Franco-Ontarian Day celebrated at École St.-Jean Baptiste



Franco-Ontarian Day H Franco-Ontarian Day VBy Ron Giofu


Students at École St.-Jean Baptiste celebrated Francophone culture as part of Franco-Ontarian Day last week.

The ceremony, held last Wednesday afternoon, saw students gather in front of the school where they sang songs, made presentations and raised the Franco-Ontarian flag.

Didier Marotte, the Amherstburg trustee with the Conseil Scolaire Catholique Providence, said he was “so pleased” to see the day celebrated locally as he called it “an important day of recognition.”

Marotte said they are a minority linguistically and believed it was important to celebrate the heritage and culture within Ontario.

École St.-Jean Baptiste has 380 students and is “growing,” said Marotte, and he spoke highly of the Amherstburg school.

“We’re so proud of our newer school. The school has done so well,” he said.

Principal Nicole Larocque said the school celebrates Franco-Ontarian Day annually on Sept. 25. It started out as a flag raising ceremony but grew into a larger assembly after the Ontario government officially proclaimed Sept. 25 as Franco-Ontarian Day.

“It’s a day where we celebrate our culture and our language in Ontario and where we distinguish ourselves from French people from France or Quebec and show there is a French population here in Ontario,” she explained.

Larocque said she was pleased to see her students embrace the day.

“We want them to feel a sense of belonging to French culture,” said Larocque.

As a French school, Larocque added they not only want to give children the best possible education, but they also want to teach students to be proud of Francophone language and culture. The fact the students enjoyed the assembly was a good sign, she believed.

“We love to see they are having a great time,” said Larocque. “When kids have something to look forward to, it makes them want to come to school.”

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