Valor families had the chance to open their homes to host six Brest, France high school students -- and Valor warmly welcomed them to campus.,
French Students Blessed to Experience Valor!
Soon after World War II ended, a high school teacher from Denver saw the devastation of France’s northwestern port city of Brest. She returned home to Colorado, and rallied her students and their families to pay for the construction of a pediatrics hospital wing --still in operation today.
In the decades since, Denver and Brest have remained close, nurturing the second oldest civic Sister City relationship in the United States. Their longstanding initiatives include a summer travel program for a selected delegation of Brest high school students, who visit Colorado with generous support from volunteer host families.
This year, Valor families had the chance to open their homes to host six Brest high school students -- and Valor warmly welcomed them to campus, providing what one French student described as "the incredible chance to see a great American high school."
Student leaders led campus tours and discussions about the differences and similarities between French and American approaches to education. "The opening football game pep rally and the Friday night tailgate party were American celebrations that delighted our French guests!" explained Valor parent host, Mrs. Christine Tatum. "And they were very touched by Valor's chapel service."
Brest students were also special guests at the summer production of Amélie, (which coincidentally was originally a French film set in Paris.)
They marveled at the diversity of course offerings as they observed classes such as Songwriting, Social media strategy, Drone flying, Bible, Robotics, Advanced Chemistry labs and English. In turn, they were guest teachers in Valor's French classes!
"Welcoming these students to our campus created positive energy and gave our Valor students an authentic and compelling motivation for second language pursuits," explained Ms. Lynnette St. George, Valor French teacher and exchange program partner. "My heart was full of gratitude as I watched our Valor students and families embrace these students. They embodied Deuteronomy 10:19 which says:
You must treat foreigners with the same loving care—
remember, you were once foreigners in Egypt.
Reverently respect God, your God, serve him, hold tight to him.."
"These American and French teens made life-long friendships," said Mrs. Tatum. "Our French guests marveled at the caring relationships between students and teachers, and they returned to France joyful -- and also a bit mystified, I think, and more curious about God and his love," she smiled.