UNC Charlotte’s French Club has reached out to Crestdale Middle School, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg School in the south Charlotte area, with hopes to collaborate on their annual international festival.

The international festival, which is generally hosted by the middle school exclusively, will be Thursday, Feb. 28. The UNC Charlotte French Club will participate from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“Our goal is to encourage these middle school students to speak French and nurture the idea of attending [UNC Charlotte],” said Ablavi Dossou, president of the UNC Charlotte French Club and a senator in the university’s Student Government Association.

After the annual UNC Charlotte International Festival last September, Dossou began collaborating with Kokou Komlanvi, a French teacher at Crestdale Middle School, graduate student at UNC Charlotte and the Community Services Chair for the French Club.

They decided that they wanted to create this event as a “festival full of colors and rich in culture diversity,” said Dossou.

“The main goals of the event are to celebrate culture, introduce early the world to students and create a great relationship between [UNC Charlotte] and the Crestdale community.”

At the event there are numerous activities for those who participate and attend. The students of Crestdale Middle School will put on a fashion show and perform traditional Mexican dances. Photos and paintings from countries around the world will be on display during the festival. Refreshments and snacks will also be available during the event.

Members of the UNC Charlotte French Club and the International Office will also have a booth set up at the festival.

“There will be some French Club members and French department students who will sing, participate in games with prizes. These games will help Crestdale Middle School students to improve their communication skills in French,” said Dossou.

Dossou says that any student is able to participate in the festival.

“We especially want the involvement of international students and French department students and anybody else willing to make this day memorable for students,” she said.

“We would like as many [UNC Charlotte] student volunteers and participants as possible.”

Even if a student does not wish to volunteer, Dossou says it is a great experience just to attend the event.

“It is a great opportunity for UNCC students to be the role models of any Crestdale Middle School [students] who is planning to attend UNC Charlotte for [a future] college career,” she said.

Those who would like to participate can fill out a volunteer sheet before Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 10 p.m., and can earn community service credits through this event.

Students interested in participating should contact Dossou at adossou@uncc.edu.

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Eden Creamer was the Editor-in-Chief for the Niner Times from May 2013 through April 2015. She graduated from UNC Charlotte in May 2015, receiving her degree in Communication Studies with minors in English, Journalism and Women's Studies. She now does freelance proofing, copywriting and design in the Charlotte area, and can be reached at edencreamer@gmail.com

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