As kids, Jennifer Shields remembers her twin brother, Jacob having a serious interest in animals. “He used to read a lot of books about animals,” said Jennifer. “We both liked animals a lot when we were younger and we still do.” When Madame Veronique Orlet gave her French 3 students the assignment to create a non-profit organization and design a website in French, the Shieldses knew they wanted to create an organization that helped animals. “The issue of poaching rhinos, hippos and elephants for their tusks isn’t talked about as much anymore,” said Jacob. “Using this French project to focus on stopping animal cruelty was really cool.” The twins created an organization called “Defendre Des Defenses” which translates to “Defend the Tusks.”
Students also were required to research organizations that are currently working on the cause they chose. In creating their non-profit, they also had to create a plan for asking for support for their cause through donations. Both Jacob and Jennifer found the project to be a great way to build their French vocabularies and to apply what they have learned in class to a real world situation.
“This project encourages students to explore the world of non-profit organizations and charities, which aligns with our mission of a Catholic school. It also calls upon their creativity while learning new vocabulary and developing their French writing skills,” said Madame Orlet. “I love seeing my students choose a cause that means something to them, research it and express their thoughts in French.”
Jacob and Jennifer are also members of the Althoff Catholic French Club. They enjoy the closeness they have with their fellow French students and love the environment that Madame Orlet creates for her students. They have also had the opportunity to explore the French community in St. Louis.
To learn more about the Althoff Catholic curriculum and our outstanding faculty and students, schedule a Crusader for a Day shadow visit for your student or a personal tour for your family.
The Shields twins’ website can be viewed here.