Canadian Parents for French, Nova Scotia recognized the outstanding achievement of the founding Director of CPF Nova Scotia, Patricia Holland. Mrs. Holland was presented with the first Nova Scotia Champion award.
Canadian Parents for French was founded in 1977 by a group of like-minded parents who were concerned about their children learning French. Patricia Holland was the founding Director of the newly formed Nova Scotia branch of Canadian Parents for French. She was joined at the gala by her youngest son, Daniel Holland who was one of students in the very first early French immersion class in Halifax. The pilot program of early French immersion began at the Ecole Beaufort. At that time fifty children were drawn from a pool of one hundred applicants to be part of the first two primary classes in 1977.
Mrs. Holland spoke of the hard work her volunteers did in the early days of CPF. Without their effort, CPF Nova Scotia would not be the success today that it is. The local CPF committee worked tirelessly with other parent groups, teachers and senior educators to lobby the School Boards, local and provincial governments to continue and expand the early French Immersion pilot program. Funding for special projects was sought from the federal level, through the Department of the Secretary of State (now known as Canadian Heritage) as well as bake sales and French expos in schools.
During those early years, Mrs. Holland wrote and presented proposals for the first summer camps in the city and an exchange program with a French-first language school in Digby. But is was the membership in the National board of Canadian Parents for French which gave inspiration, leadership, and exposure to the growing numbers of students in French immersion which served as an incentive to take the next step – the formation of Canadian Parents for French, Nova Scotia. Mrs. Holland was presented her award by CPF Nova Scotia President Stephanie Carver and Mylène Thériault, the Commissioner’s Representative for the Atlantic Region, Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages.
Felicitations to Patricia Holland!