Seven local french immersion students from Collettville Elementary School will soon make their way to Quebec, thanks to their fundraising efforts and the help of generous donors and volunteers. 

The trip, which offers french immersion students in grade seven the chance to visit the French speaking province of Quebec and immerse themselves in the local culture, is an experience that many local french immersion students look forward to. With the trip’s main organizer moving away, and COVID-19 pandemic restrictions limiting travel, it has not happened in several years, but will return in 2023.

“This celebratory trip has been unable to happen for the past few years due to COVID restrictions, but we are happy to be able to go this year,” said Angela Russell, an organizer of the trip.

“Typically, this trip happens in February during carnival but that was not going to work out this year, so this group is now going in June.”

The seven students attending, out of a class size of 14, will participate in a number of activities while in Quebec, both educational and cultural in nature. Although they will miss the iconic Carnival, Russell said the students attending are equally excited to explore Quebec City. 

“This year the trip holds different activities than usual as it is taking place in June, but the kids are excited and lucky to be able to visit another part of our beautiful country, and explore what the French culture has to offer in the real world,” added Russell.

Recently, the trip received a boost in funds from Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD) area directors David Laird and Herb Graham, who donated $2500 towards the cause. The Merritt Elks Lodge and Merritt Rotary Club donated $2000 and $500, respectively. 

TNRD Area Directors Herb Graham (far left) and David Laird (far right) present their donation to Collettville students. Photo/Angela Russell

The donations, along with fundraising efforts such as steak dinners and bottle drives, will allow the students to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity, and Russell noted that organizers and students alike are grateful for the continued community support. 

The trip committee will be hosting a car wash fundraiser on May 6, with the location and time still to be announced.