Fifth-grade students from Paris visit Nevada City’s schools |

Fifth-grade students from Paris visit Nevada City’s schools

Submitted to The Union

Nevada City is attracting international attention and making history once again, but instead of foreigners seeking gold, 11-year-old students from Paris arrived seeking a chance to connect, kid to kid, with California.

From May 6 through Saturday, the visiting students are staying with host families that have children attending Deer Creek and Seven Hills schools. It's been a challenge to leave their parents, travel to another country and adapt to a new language and culture, but the students seemed excited to embrace the adventure.

The principals, teachers and students at Deer Creek and Seven Hills welcomed the 18 Parisian fifth-graders into their classrooms.

"Ecole Aujourd'hui — School for Today has been doing the France/USA exchange for over 30 years," said Judith Klein, one of the two French teachers traveling with the kids. "It is a linguistic and cultural experience for the children, and whilst living with another family they are also learning life skills such as coping on their own, asking for help and adapting to new family routines."

After a welcome campfire at the Inntown Campground, the students have gone to school with their hosts and experienced our educational programs, including science and technology at Deer Creek and planting trees at Seven Hills.

"This is an experience I hope can continue in future years," said Monica Daugherty, principal of Deer Creek. "The students are really enjoying the exchange of traditions, games and learning that we are all so the same in so many ways."

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The visiting students have taken field trips to Nevada City's historical monuments and Firehouse Museum, Donner Memorial Park and Bridgeport to learn about California's history, and visited the Four Elements Earth Education nature program and Food Love Farm.

"I am so happy that all my students were able to enjoy this visit from our Parisian friends. I think it's vital that all children experience different cultures to see that children all over the world are really the same," said Christy McCracken, a fourth-grade teacher at Deer Creek school. "I think some of these children made lifelong friends and that connection to people around the world is crucial for the future of all children."

In the words of Ari Funk, a fourth-grade host, "We are so lucky that of all the towns in America, our Nevada City is the one that gets to have the French students."

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