One of the major innovations that the Center for French Studies has undertaken in the past few years is the development of outreach programs. The Center has created these programs believing that it is important to encourage our youth to develop an early interest in French culture. Three programs have been created:
High School Teachers Seminars / The French Teachers' Day
High School French Prizes
High School Theater Programs / L'Atelier Outreach Program
The French Teachers' Day
Since 1999, the Center for French Studies has sponsored an annual French Outreach Program to encourage and support the teaching of French in secondary schools in New Jersey. One-day seminars for high school teachers have been held on the use of film in language teaching (1999), the place of francophone literature (2000), and the use of the internet as a tool for stimulating and improving language studies (2001). The past three Teachers' Days were taught by Florent Masse and focused on the place of drama in the French-language classrooms, drawing on the pedagogical methods of the L'Atelier program.
These seminars give teachers an opportunity to meet their colleagues in other schools, to spend a day on the Princeton campus, and to learn something new and (we hope) of direct professional utility.
The High School French Prizes
The Center for French Studies annually awards prizes to the best high school students of French from the Princeton area high schools. The choice of recipients is left to up to the high school French teachers, though the prizes are named after the Interdisciplinary Center for French Studies. The prizes contribute greatly to encouraging students at an early age to pursue the study of the French language. In 2003-2004, 12 prizes of $200 each were awarded during the High School French Prizes ceremony of June 1, 2004.
L'Atelier Outreach ProgramSince January 2003, the Center for French Studies has offered Princeton area high schools the opportunity to organize French theater workshops within their walls. Florent Masse who directs L'Atelier program at Princeton University has taught a series of workshops at Princeton Stuart Day School of the Sacred Heart and Princeton High School. In 2003-2004, more than 50 high school students participated in these workshops and the partnership with the local high schools culminated in a performance by the students on the Princeton campus during the annual French Teachers' Day.