2015 A Successful Year for Chicago-Paris School Exchanges
2015 has been a wonderful year for exchanges between Chicago and Paris schools, whose students have shared ideas via email, postcard, and Skype and now have had the chance to cross the Atlantic and meet in person. These educational exchanges are based on a common project chosen by teachers and students and studied from perspectives on both sides of the ocean. The participants choose subjects as varied as their city’s architecture and neighborhoods to fashion or sports to produce their own tale of two cities.
This year, Lincoln Park High School visited its sister school, Lycée Louis le Grand in Paris; Louis le Grand will come to Chicago in the Fall. This will be their 10th year to exchange. Lycée Fénélon came to Jones College Prep in April, and Jones will visit Fénélon in the Fall. Alcott College Prep visited Collège George Sand in April with a turn-around visit from George Sand to Alcott in May. The students of Collège Sévigné spent 10 days with the students of Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences (Chicago AG) in April. The French students were delighted to see such an unusual school where they have an extensive farm and students actually participate in all aspects of agriculture while following a typical academic curriculum. A visit to Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center from Lycée Rodin is also scheduled for Fall with the Von Steuben students traveling to Paris in the Spring.
To witness the enthusiasm and excitement of these students as they communicate with each other and compare points of view and cultural customs is most encouraging for the future of our global society. Many will remain friends and perhaps colleagues for years to come! Furthermore, this year Chicago Sister Cities International was able to award certificates signed by Mayor Rahm Emmanuel to Alcott College Prep and Collège George Sand, commemorating their official exchange as acknowledged by the City of Chicago and the Rectorat de Paris. The other schools will receive certificates upon the completion of their exchange visits.
The Paris Committee is proud to have awarded some small stipends over the past few years to the Chicago students who go abroad. This year, the Committee gave a gift to Alcott College Prep which was used to attend a cooking class in Paris.
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