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ALTRUISM: Grammarian Lareina Shen's French Club is in demand!

Updated: Mar 11

Lareina Shen '22 is working on her service-learning project, and she decided to offer free french tutoring to grade five classes called French Club! The French Club is a weekly club for Grade Five students that meets over Zoom. The club aims to reinforce students' skills from the classroom while acting as an environment to support their learning.


"My initial motivation to create this club was not just for my service-learning project. Growing up in a family with no French environment, I know how difficult it is to improve this language to the fullest potential," said Lareina when asked about her motivation to start French Club.


Her inspiration came from her experience with a french tutor in elementary school, who helped her solidify her French language skills in reading and writing. "I now feel like it's time to take the initiative to help others who want to reinforce their French skills in a friendly environment where they are free to ask questions and have fun," says Lareina. She decided to focus the club on Grade Five students as it is a "crucial point in the French learning experience." She acknowledges that people tend to lose interest in subjects they struggle with. Helping Grade Fives strengthen their French learning skills will help them preserve their interest and curiosity with the language.


After announcing it to Grade Five Parents, Lareina expected five to six students at first. She was shocked when she found out 16 students were interested in joining. "I was very surprised to see so many parents reach out to me expressing their interest," said Lareina, "the great demand was pretty overwhelming, but luckily, Pearla El-Rabahi in Grade 11 was willing to help me tutor." Sharing an interest in French, Pearla was "thrilled and could not wait to get started" when asked to help Lareina with French Club as a tutor.


Lareina credits her teachers at Grammar for helping her start the French Club. "Without their guidance, I am doubtful that my idea of starting this club would have become a reality."


"She came to me a little before Christmas break to start a French club as she wanted to expand her tutoring to other students. I thought the club was a great idea, so I helped her define how it would work," said Mme. Lucie Poisson. "I believe this type of experience helps students grow and become more independent, as well as it develops their sense of responsibility and altruism."


"When Lareina emailed me about her proposed French Club, I knew my students would be excited to join. The grade five students are dedicated French learners who are always looking for ways to practice and reinforce the skills they learn in class," said Mme. Lucie St. Pierre. "I feel fortunate to be a part of a community that values French language learning."


Lareina plans to continue with French Club next year. As 2021-2022 is her graduating year, she plans to find people to continue organizing the club after she graduates.


PHOTO: Lareina and the French Club students during their Zoom class.


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