QCGN honours community builders

Hundreds of thousands of bilingual students across Canada have three stay-at-home mothers from Montreal’s South Shore to thank for their education.

Murielle Parkes, Olga Melikoff and their late colleague Valerie Neale developed the first public school French Immersion program in Canada, in a kindergarten class in Saint-Lambert near Montreal in 1965. More than 50 years later, over 400,000 students across the country spend their school days in French Immersion.

The “mothers of French Immersion” were among four English-speaking community activists honoured by the Quebec Community Groups Network on Nov. 1 at the Saint James’s Club in downtown Montreal as part of the 10th annual QCGN Community Awards.

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