Back-to-Back program seeks participants

The first Rockford FB2B group traveled to France in June 2012.  Pictured left to right are Ellie Johandes, Lauren Williams, Christine Bina, Ellie Sims, Ruthie Abbott, Sarah Uhall, Ally Faulkner, Hailey Brenner, Mikayla Kruse, Taylar Lawrence, and Hanine Aqel.

The first Rockford FB2B group traveled to France in June 2012. Pictured left to right are Ellie Johandes, Lauren Williams, Christine Bina, Ellie Sims, Ruthie Abbott, Sarah Uhall, Ally Faulkner, Hailey Brenner, Mikayla Kruse, Taylar Lawrence, and Hanine Aqel.

Plans are underway for the second Rockford French Back-to-Back Program (FB2B), a unique cultural exchange offered to middle school students attending either East or North Rockford Middle School. FB2B is a reciprocal exchange lasting 2-3 weeks in each country, where American students will correspond and exchange with a group of French students of similar age/grade level. American students will host their French correspondents in their homes in February 2014, and in June 2014 the American students will travel to France to be hosted by their French correspondents. This is a true international adventure unlike anything else offered to middle school students in Rockford!

A total of 24 spots are available for the B2B exchange, of which nearly half have been filled already. The cost of the full Back-to-Back experience is $2200.00, which includes round-trip airfare, full insurance coverage, all food and lodging expenses while in France, 2-3 adult chaperones and travel coordination and administration by FASEP. Students may also choose to ‘Travel Only’ or ‘Host Only’, if the full back-to-back exchange is not possible.

No knowledge of French is required for participation, nor do students need to be interested in studying French! This is a cultural immersion meant to expose students to daily life in another country. American participants will meet regularly after school from November through May, to become acquainted as a team, prepare for travel, and learn basic French in order to communicate politely with their French host families using simple words and phrases.

Application forms are now being accepted by FASEP, the French-American Student Exchange Program, based in Jackson, MI. FASEP and La Ligue de l’Enseignment are the partner organizations that administer and coordinate the FB2B program between France and the U.S. Locally, Rockford parent Michelle Williams is the program coordinator and trip chaperone. Clare Adamus, Spanish-Immersion teacher at NRMS, is the staff liason to the program as well as trip chaperone.

If your family has a middle school student interested in participating, you may contact Clare Adamus via email at cadamus@rockfordschools.org. Application forms and more information are also available through Michelle Williams, mdljwms@comcast.net or phone (616) 460-8878. There will be an additional informational meeting at the beginning of the new school year in September and applications will be accepted until then.

 

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