Students, teachers and parents marked the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, CODOFIL, (in French, le Conseil pour le développement du français en Louisiane), the Louisiana Office of Francophone Affairs — with a full day of activities at North Lewis Elementary. The French Immersion program at the school employs teachers from throughout the world from French speaking countries.
The state agency’s main role is to promote and support French Immersion and French as a second language in education. Its mission is to “work toward the creation of an eco-system that permits the development of French in the economic, educational, cultural and professional sectors and in which Louisiana’s French and Creole speakers are valorized in their cultural and linguistic identity,” said a statement sent out by Ebrar Reaux, one of the many volunteers who supports the program. It also seeks to “provide access to economic, educational, cultural and professional opportunities in French to all of Louisiana’s students.”
The day began with a version of La Table Française where only French was spoken. Programs included games, educational presentations, songs and dance indicative of the various native countries of the teachers. When students participate in the activies, they only speak French which allows them to fully embrace the experiences of the cultures throughout the nations.
The final event was a presentation of song following a historial presentation at The Sliman Theater by Warren Perrin, a native of Henry who has represented Acadiana, Louisiana and the United States at international Francophone conferences. He announced that Louisiana has been accepted into the international organization and next year will not just be a guest, but a participating member. The program was sponsored by the Iberia Cultural Resources Association.