April 24, 2024


For anyone looking to learn French or improve their existing skills, the Idea Exchange’s Preston Library branch has introduced the perfect event. Their Speak More French event debuted Jan. 10, and is run by senior branch assistant Tina Runstedtler.

“All of my family is of French heritage, and I’ve been speaking French for over 20 years. I finally decided that I would be interested in teaching French and pursued it in school and beyond and finally achieved that goal through this program, which is special because for most of my 19 years at the library I’ve been handling English programs,” she said.

The event, which has averaged about 15 attendees per night, runs from now until Feb. 28 every Wednesday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., in addition to the regular 10:30 a.m. French lesson for children.

There is no cost, and complimentary snacks and beverages are provided. Runstedtler said she is interested in holding the event in the future, and plans to run another program in the spring and likely a similar educational event next year.

Overseen by Runstedtler and a few volunteers, participants take part in a series of games and activities with flash cards or books to help bolster their French vocabulary.

Due to a lack of educational French options for many within the area, the event’s accessibility and helpfulness should be an attractive aspect for anyone seeking to brush up their French skills. Staff at the Jan. 24 event were extremely helpful, and the attendees were friendly, receptive and willing to learn more about the language, creating an interesting and enjoyable community vibe as everyone in the side room of the Preston Library took the time to learn something new.

For more details on the event or others run by the Idea Exchange, visit ideaexchange.org.

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