Kindergarteners learning French in one-of-a-kind program in Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Kindergarteners learning French in one-of-a-kind program in Iowa

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A group of eastern Iowa kindergarteners are saying "hello" to a new language.

5 and 6-year-olds at Lou Henry Elementary in Waterloo are learning French in a program that's one-of-a-kind throughout the entire state, one that's focused on English and French. 

At Lou Henry alone, students know more than 20 different languages. Many students are familiar with French, because their families are from Congo.

Their teacher Kelley Lattimer says, "We had a large amount of students and a shortage of teachers, so I came up with the idea of putting French speakers in a classroom with English speakers so we can learn together."

Principal Jake Youngkent says, "The magic of this program is that the kids learn from each other even more than they learn from adults."

Many are enjoying learning the new language, while also teaching it too.

One 6-year-old said, "I say 'bonjour' everywhere I go!"

Lattimer says, "We heard from a parent who said their child was disciplining their dog in French, which I thought that was really cute to hear about that going on at home."

When asked if her parents knew French, 5-year-old Olivia Iverson replied, "My mom knows a lot but I am hoping to know a lot more."

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