February 2008 Newsletter




If you have questions about our class and vacation schedule, check your Livret. You’ll find a calendar on page 4. The board has made one change. We have moved our Annual Business Meeting to Friday, April 18. The meeting will be held at 11 a.m. followed by our Spring Fête at noon. Mark your calendar (and update your Livret). If you haven’t yet picked up your Livret, get a copy in the Social Room.


Note: Spring break is scheduled for March 21. There will be no classes held on that day.


Noon Programs


On February 22, Tamara Falicov, Associate Professor of Film and Latin American Studies at the University of Kansas will present, in Spanish, a short overview of the history of immigration to Argentina, discuss the various ethnic groups that came in search of a better life, and the creation of the tango as an immigrant's dance.


If you have suggestions for programs in 2008, please let the program chairs know. (They are listed at the end of the newsletter.)


On February 29, our own Hélène Perriguey-Keene will present a program in French about the region of Alsace. She lived there for a year and will share her first-hand impressions of this less-traveled area of France.


In search of new board members


At our Annual Meeting on April 18, we will elect new board members for the upcoming year. This is a critical issue for our all-volunteer-run organization. We invite all members to consider serving in some capacity. Tell any board member, listed at the end of the newsletter, that you’re interested. They can also answer your questions about board roles (which are more fully described in the Livret on pages 53-54).


Here are the open positions:


President: Coordinates the work of the Board, contracts with instructors.

First VP: Membership Chairman: Oversees enrollment process and produces the annual roster (the Livret).

Second VP: Social Chairman (primary functions are holiday and spring parties and summer luncheon).

Treasurer: Manages financial business of the organization, including payroll and investments.

Asst. Treas: Produces newsletter and organizes publicity during summer months.


The Board meets approximately six times a year. It is possible to carry out these responsibilities around travel, work or family obligations.


Our wonderful teachers get a nice bonus


Thanks to our members’ generous response to La Causerie’s year-end fund-raising appeal, we were able to thank and reward each of our instructors with a $100 bonus this week. More than $1,200 was raised in charitable donations around the holidays. Most gifts were designated for our Faculty Bonus Fund. The wishes of donors who designated their gifts for other purposes (such as facilities) were honored as well.


Because the success of La Causerie depends in a great extent on the talents and commitments of our teachers, the bonus was unanimously approved at the Board’s January meeting. The Faculty Bonus Fund, paid for by charitable contributions like these, help keep our membership fee down. And, by rewarding our faculty in this way, you help ensure our ability to provide great instruction.


Thanks to all our members who made a contribution. And remember, every little bit helps. Additional charitable contributions are welcome at any time during the year.


March Book Madness


Check out the Social Room during March for a special sale of foreign language textbooks and tools. In the past, La Causerie purchased resources for members. We often ended up with some extra copies that we would like to get off our shelves.


We are putting this stock on sale and you might find a great resource to extend your learning. Many have CDs or tapes and may complement your current texts. Plan ahead for your summer practice. The price will be right, we promise.


Patricia Reed will be on hand in the Social Room to assist with transactions (except during her 9-10 a.m. class). Judy Pearlstein, textbook chair, is organizing this and can answer questions, too.


Enjoy the snacks? They come from our members.


Having tasty snacks to get us through our Friday morning studies depends on you. Sign up to bring treats on the list in the Social Room. It’s traditional that snack donations tend to wane at this time of year—so we need volunteers to step up now.


Just a few years ago our snacks comprised instant coffee, hot tea and Hy-Vee cookies (if we were lucky). Now you enjoy freshly brewed, good quality roast coffee and tea, a range of tasty and healthy treats, plus the opportunity to contribute to our “bake sale,” both financially and otherwise.


You don’t have to feed the entire school—three or four other members will contribute, too. And it doesn’t have to be homemade. If you want, bring a snack that has a shelf life (like biscotti or tinned popcorn) and give it to Patricia to put out as needed.


Have a facilities issue? 

Tell a board member, not someone who works at the church.  We want to keep our landlords happy and you can help by funneling La Causerie issues, suggestions and requests through Inez or another board member (see list below).


Snow Policy


La Causerie Française follows the Shawnee Mission School District practice on snowy or icy days.  If the Shawnee Mission District closes its schools due to bad weather, La Causerie will also be closed.  In case of inclement weather, please listen to the list of school closings on television and radio or check the SMSD’s website. 


Fall Calendar


February 1 Classes Held.

February 8 Classes Held.

February 15 Classes Held.

February 22 Classes Held. Spanish Program at noon

February 29 Classes Held. French Program at noon.

March 7 Classes Held.

March 14 Classes Held.

March 21 No Classes. Spring Break

March 28 Classes Held.


Executive Board Members 2007-2008



Patricia Reed  (Assistant to the Board)


President: Inez Pennington

First VP: TBD

Second VP: Pam White (also Chair of Social & Hospitality)

Secretary: Joan Daniels (Program Chair)

Asst. Secy: Judy Pearlstein (Textbook Chair)

Treasurer: Linda Lyon  

Asst. Treas Dalene Bradford (newsletter and publicity)


Program Chairs


Thad Carver (French)

Angelica Estrada-Minton (Spanish)

Humbert Tinsman (Italian)

Ninfa Redmond (Italian)