2022 Highlights in our Les Petites Pommes Learning Community

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By Mary Clements

In January, my husband Charles and I like to have a dinner together where we talk about the highs and lows of our past year. There’s always the obvious standouts, events one of us reminds the other of and laughs and sometimes tears.

For our Les Petites Pommes team, we had many highlights this year that popped out:

Our Les Petites Pommes Scholarship
This year we launched our Les Petites Pommes Scholarship and raised $2473. With these scholarship fund were were able to provide full scholarships to 13 students to attend our virtual and in-person camp programs! Thank you to everyone who purchased our Les Petites Pommes Merch and also who added extra gifts of $5, $10 or $20 at the end of their purchases! You helped a child to attend camp and you are a superhero! 🙂

Our French Learning Circle 
This year we launched a program called the French Learning Circle which we made to help fill in the learning gaps for grade 3-4 students. We ran this program from February to August and then since the fall we have been offering it internally to the Waterloo Catholic District School Board Students. We will be bringing it back to our Petites Pommes students soon so stand by for that!

Our Virtual Camps
This year we continued to improve our virtual camp programs by making them more focussed. Through working with students and teachers  in different school boards, we found that the area we could best support our students was in French reading and conversation so we adjusted our curriculums to focus on these elements.  Merci to all the awesome students and families who attended our programs this year!

We published our own book! 
This was also the year where we published “Chez Mamie”, our first book in our leveled readers series. After a year and a half of intense work, this baby saw the light in June 2022, and we were immensely happy and proud to finally share it with you. We also filmed a mini-documentary about the creation process! Thank you all who came out to our presentation at The Westdale Theatre and everyone who has purchased one. This not only allows us to share our stories with our community, but also to give scholarships to students who want to be a part of our camps. On behalf of our writing team, we thank you all very kindly for the love you have shown our stories. We can’t wait to share more with you in 2023!

Our In-Person Camps:
Our flagship in–person camps are located here in Hamilton, Ontario. As always we hosted PA days, March Break, Summer Camp, and Winter Camp (Winter camp is actually happening right now as I write this 🙂

Rosseau Lake College & Les Petites Pommes 
During May, I was invited to move up north for 1 month to run a French program at a very special school called Rosseau Lake College. I worked with students from grade 7-9 as they completed our Les Petites Pommes intensive French course. Students attend this school from all around the world and it is surrounded by so much beautiful nature.  I felt very fortunate to be able to immerse myself in their learning community as John held down the fort at Les Petites Pommes! I can’t wait to go back again this Spring!

Music Album Release! 
I released my debut album called “Come With Me” this year! I’m including this as a Les Petites Pommes highlight because I have gained a lot of inspiration for my music from our Les Petites Pommes community. Students have offered me feedback, shared their ideas and dreams with me and also tell me how they watch all my music videos on youtube. I also share with them about the journey of this creative process and I am grateful to all of you who have listened, streamed, purchased, and shared your thoughts with me about it!

Les Petites Pommes Tutoring Team
This year John continued to grow our tutoring team as we support students all across Canada! John created our own proprietary system of assessing students called the LEAP system for goal setting with the students and parents  (I have a newsletter about this coming up explaining more 🙂 and an 8 week check in process for all our students and teachers. He has performed over 75 assessments for students and their families and we have been getting very positive feedback about this new system.

A big merci to our Les Petites Pommes learning community! Our students, parents, teachers and everyone who follows along in our newsletter on our journey to helping students feel confident en français! We are looking forward to 2023 and continuing to grow together and helping our students succeed en français!