Mason Prep blends two worlds to help students form lasting global connections

Cool School

Mason Preparatory School has a phenomenal French program. Students are engaged, and learning the language beginning in kindergarten through eighth grade.  A special community initiative brought two worlds together.  We’re in downtown Charleston for our Cool School of the week.

Two worlds, one goal, students at Mason Prep made their special visitors feel welcomed.  Eighth grade students from France spent the week at Mason Prep.  The visiting students enjoyed time with their pen pals, attended classes, and visited historic sites around charleston to learn about the community and culture.  Mason Prep French teacher Julia Royall says her students visited France four years ago. She worked for a year to plan for the French student’s visit to Mason Prep.  “We have forty-six students and five teachers. This is cool because our community supported this. We can teach all day in our classrooms, but bringing the real world to our students is what French teachers dream about.  We dream about taking our students, and allowing them to have the opportunity to speak the language, and learn about the culture in the real world.  We also dream about bringing the culture to us, and bringing students from France here, so they can learn about us, and we make those cross cultural connections that will remain forever with our students.”  

Families hosted forty-six french students and five chaperones.  Assistant Head of School Roseann Jordan says, “Without our community, we wouldn’t be able to do it, and the wonderful planning of our French teacher Julia Royal. It’s been a year in the process, but it has been amazing and well received by our community.”  Eighth-grade student Georgia Dempsey says, “I think we’re just connecting with people from other countries which is really cool. It’s nice to be able to blend and see what’s different in the two cultures.”   One of the French chaperones Yves Gouast teaches english in France. He says, “One of the objectives of this trip is to make people aware of the fact that we may have differences, but they are the same.  They discover they are the same.”

A year in the making, students call the special visit a success.  Eighth-grade French student Aïda Camara says, “The school is really I love it, a lot of drawings everywhere that’s colorful.  Everyone is nice.  I love it, really, really cool. I’m learning a lot of English so I can practice. The food here, I love it.  This morning we had French toast and fruit.  I love it.  It was delicious.  The French toast here is better than in France. Thanks for everything for making me come here. America is really nice.  I’m going to miss it.”   Eighth-grade French student Clément Lebugle says, “I love America.  Charleston is very beautiful.  I love the school because she is very big. I love the food.  I love the teacher.  I love al of the persons.  It’s a very good experience because I love speaking English.  I like the classes because the teachers are cool.”

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