The Saugerties High School French Club will hold its 25th annual flea market on Saturday, February 23. The event will raise money for the club’s activities and field trips. But the flea market isn’t just about raising money. It will help students tap into the French language and culture in their own back yard.
Carolyn Muñoz, a Spanish teacher at Saugerties High, is faculty adviser to the French Club. She facilitates weekly meetings and coordinates with the club’s officers on agendas. Members of the group organize the events and help put plans into action.
“All of the French Club members are a great group of students with whom to work,” said Muñoz. “French Club is used as an extension of the language-learning experience for the students. Students are able to experience the French culture and language through crafts, foods, and excursions/field trips. These experiences help students appreciate the value of the French language and culture that they are learning in the classroom and expand on it in their own lives.”
Juliette Zicot, a 17-year old senior, found her way to French four years ago by wanting to connect with distant relatives. “I was drawn to the language because I have family in Belgium that I’ve never met, but they reached out to speak to me and they only spoke French,” she said. “So I decided to take French so I could communicate with them.”
The flea market will feature nearly 90 vendors selling everything from art to antiques, jewelry to toys, soaps to lotions, food to collectibles. The French Club will also sell donated items. Though the event doesn’t exactly evoke strolls along the Champs-Élysees, it does have a decidedly French flair.
“It is a wonderful event that engages the students with the public,” said Muñoz. “The students learn how to manage funds, time, and space for the set up of the flea market. The students also hone their interpersonal skills by communicating with vendors through the application process all the way through the event …. Not only is it a cultural event that is similar to what you would find in France, but it is also a great learning experience for our students.”
The French Club receives volunteer assistance from the Saugerties Key Club and students in government classes.
Morgan Sussin, a 16-year old sophomore, was drawn to French by the beauty of the language when spoken. “In the French Club, we do activities that are based on French culture and we prepare for events such as the flea market,” explained Sussin. “What I look forward to is seeing all the people come out and support us.”
Hannah Mangione, a 15-year old sophomore who appreciates the French language and culture, is looking forward to the flea market. “French Club is an incredible club dedicated to exploring French culture and language through snacks, arts, and crafts and activities,” she said. “I am looking forward to seeing all the different things people will be selling at the flea market as well as continuing the long-standing tradition of providing a place for people to meet and converse as well as a place to sell their goods.”
Gina Tyan, a 15-year old sophomore, is hoping the public comes out to the French Club flea market. “The French Club is a fun, educational, and welcoming environment,” she said. “The upcoming flea market is a great opportunity for the community to see what the French Club is capable of organizing.”
The flea market is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 23, with a snow date on March 2 at the same times. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for seniors and students in grades seven through twelve, and free for younger kids.