Fine Arts Spotlights
French Club Wins Grant for French Kitchen Garden
Thanks to its award-winning French Club , Le Cercle Francophone , Jacksonville University has joined the ranks of Texas A & M , University of Florida , Tulane University , University of California-Davis and George Washington University in receiving a $ 2,000 grant from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States . The grant was awarded to Le Cercle Francophone as the grand prize for the France on Campus Awards .
These annual awards were created to support student initiatives that explore French and Francophone ( French-speaking ) culture in new and creative ways . The awards are intended to help student organizations lead major France-related projects on their campuses by providing a unique combination of funding and mentoring . With this support , awardees are expected to showcase French and Francophone culture to new audiences on their campuses and beyond .
Le Cercle Francophone was awarded first prize for a proposal called “ A French Potager in Jacksonville ,” and the club will work with the Gardening Club to transform the existing Healthy Campus Garden , located behind the Swisher Library , into a French kitchen garden . Suggested by assistant professor
of French and LCF faculty advisor Tamara Caudill , the award-winning proposal was written by LCF president Alessandra Ravelo . The resulting project will feature French flowers and herbs , a Zoom workshop led by a French gardening expert , and other French elements .
“ The idea for this project came from seniors Armany LeBlanc and Elizabeth Florida , who have worked so hard on the Healthy Campus Garden ." Caudill said .
Additional collaboration on this project was supplied by Nisse Goldberg , professor of biology and marine science and Gardening Club advisor .
According to Caudill , the garden will embody French culture and will tie into the university ’ s French curriculum . “ Seeing as the French like to marry practicality with beauty , a jardin potager will include more decorative elements like flowers and herbs , alongside heirloom vegetables , grown in attractive patterns . Currently , the beds are mostly bare for winter .”
In terms of curriculum , the garden will be incorporated into Jacksonville University ’ s intermediate French II ( FREN202 ) course . The course is centered around the study of the classic novella “ Le Petit Prince ” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry . With its important subplot of the prince ’ s devotion to his beautiful rose , the gardening motif is a natural addition .
By Kamia Addison
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