Coal Ridge counselor named as Education Foundation’s Eleanor Venture Travel Grant recipient

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LONGMONT — It was hugs all around March 21 when Brigitte Toucheque realized that she was being awarded the 2013 Eleanor Venture travel grant by the Education Foundation for the St. Vrain Valley’s selection committee.

    She jumped high off the ground when the “big check” was unrolled. And her enthusiasm was contagious as she told her colleagues about the travel proposal that resulted in her being awarded this year’s grant.
    The Education Foundation is very pleased to announce that Brigitte Toucheque, counselor at Coal Ridge Middle School, has been selected as the 2013 Eleanor Venture grant recipient, awarded $3,500 to travel to Quito, Ecuador, for a Spanish language and cultural immersion experience.
    During her trip Brigitte will be participating in a rigorous 40-hour language program and spending her afternoons exploring the Latino culture in Quito. She will cap off her stay in Ecuador with an excursion along the Amazon River.
    Brigitte has been taking Spanish language courses for the past year in anticipation of this type of immersion program. She has a very clear understanding of the difficulties associated with learning a language being a second language learner herself.
    Once back at Coal Ridge, she anticipates being able to be more effective in dealing with second language learners and their parents and has already identified ways to make that happen. Brigitte’s impressive proposal and strong personal interview were the basis for her selection.
    This grant is named in honor of Eleanor Flanders, founder and past president of the foundation, who believes that the study of other cultures and places can powerfully impact the educational process. Brigitte, who was selected from three extremely strong finalists, presented a proposal that exemplifies Eleanor’s belief.