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Parents lobby to bring French immersion to Pemberton



A new committee called Pemberton Parents for French Immersion is lobbying the school board to establish a program at Signal Hill Elementary School.

To get the ball rolling the committee is hosting an open house at the school at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 16, along with the school’s administrators, members of the school board, and school board trustees. The open house is an opportunity to provide information to parents on French Immersion, as well as to gauge the level of support in the community. There will also be a question and answer period after a short presentation.

“As parents, our goal is to provide our children with every educational opportunity available,” said Joanne Molinaro, a spokesperson for the committee. Molinaro speaks Dutch as a second language, while her husband speaks Italian.

“The ability to speak a second language in this day and age can be a tremendous benefit to a young person’s future. A second language, regardless of what it is, will expand a child’s mind and open up his or her world to new and exciting opportunities.”

Parents are welcome to bring their children to the presentation, and there will be childcare available during the open house.

In co-operation with the school board, the parents of all children born between 1995 and 2001 will be surveyed on the issue of French Immersion. The committee would also like to make that survey available to parents of children born between 2002 and 2007, who will be attending Signal Hill Elementary in the future.

“We are hoping to gather enough support that will provide the school board the necessary numbers to consider this program. We really want to hear from everyone,” said Molinaro.

If you can’t attend the open house, more information and a copy of the survey will be posted online at . Surveys can be dropped off at the school, Pemberton Meadows Childcare, the Pemberton Public Library or Sea to Sky Community Services, or emailed to The deadline for all surveys is Jan. 30.