French immersion school attracts Richmond students - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

French immersion school attracts Richmond students

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

If you want to be heard, you better say it in French at Heartwood Grove School.

It is a French immersion school- the only one of its kind in Richmond. For at least three hours a day, French is the only language spoken, no matter what the class.

It has helped 11-year-old M.E. Novak-Ellis.

"In the first week, I was able to memorize like letters and numbers and when my dad started telling me how to read time in french, I couldn't believe how quickly I picked up on it. Immersion works," said Novak-Ellis.

The school's director agrees.

Laura Bice opened the school last year after she could not find a bilingual school for her two children. She noticed a lot of the schools dedicated just a short amount of time to studying different languages. Some were getting rid of it altogether, and there was not a big emphasis on arts in general.

"There is not a focus on the arts in the schools. It's an after thought. It's an enrichment, but a lot of the schools don't see it as academics," said Bice.

Heartwood Grove is a bit different because arts of all kinds are offered, including theatre and music.

However, Jack Spasojevich loves French, as well as learning about the French culture. It is his main focus right now.

He believes he is picking up the language pretty well, and he is already looking forward to being able to speak it fluently.

"You can go to other countries and you don't have to speak English," said Spasojevich.

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