Last, week, several Grier students wore shirts emblazoned with the words “CE MOMENT WHEN YOU START PENSER EN DEUX LANGUES AT THE SAME TEMPS,” a clever mix of French and English to illustrate the sentiment felt by many a second-language learner: that moment when you start thinking in two languages at the same time. Not only did the shirts serve to visually unify the French language learners at Grier, proceeds from the sales of the shirts benefitted the 415 school children of the Bainet Parish of Haiti.
While attending the Association of American Teachers of French (AATF) conference in Martinique during the summer, Grier’s Modern Languages Department Chair Madame Pope formed a connection with a colleague from the language department of Ashland University. Madame Pope learned of his pro bono work translating correspondence between a school in Bainet Parish in Haiti and a Tennessee church. He shared Bainet Parish school's dire need for basics like school supplies. Like many schools in Haiti, Bainet Parish faces hardship largely because of the “series of recent hurricanes, the devastating earthquake of 2010, and the most recent drought,” writes Madame’s colleague. He notes that “Even small funds….can make the difference in the lives of these children in the poorest country of the Western Hemisphere.”
Roughtly a quarter of students at Grier currently take French and several more have already completed the French AP class. T-shirt proceeds of $409 will help outfit the Haitian school with supplies.