Camden teacher seeks to educate students beyond classroom with ambitious trip to Paris

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Paula Saillard is not just a French teacher, she is passionate about the French people and their culture. (WPVI)

Paula Saillard is not just a French teacher, she is passionate about the French people and their culture.

That is why she has never limited her lessons to the confines of a classroom.

"I have taken French students in other districts for many years to Paris, but this is the first time I am fundraising and the first time I am doing it in Camden," said Saillard.

Saillard teaches at Woodrow Wilson High School, and her plan is to take her class of 20 juniors and seniors to Paris for spring break.

A plan that sounds more like a dream than a journey for the teenagers, most of whom have seen very little of the world outside of Camden.

"I have never really been far, other than just New York and Pennsylvania," said Quamir Harris, senior.

"I've been to Florida, but that's when I was little, I don't remember anything, but I would love to go to Europe," said Janneiry Martinez, junior.

But there are two things standing in the way of this trip becoming a reality - time and money. They don't have enough money, and they are running out of time.

The price tag for the class trip $40,000.

A GoFundMe page has been set up, but with a bit less than $7000 raised and less than two months to go until spring break, it's beginning to look like this trip might not happen.

Some of the students say for them that means it may never happen.

"I'm a senior in high school, it's my last year, and I feel as though I'm not going to have another opportunity to go to France," said Heather Boone, senior.

Mrs. Saillard stresses this was never designed to simply be a vacation.

It is an opportunity to give the young people a different perspective of the world. A chance to see there is more to life than what surrounds them.

She says she has been told her plan was too ambitious.

But Saillard says that's OK.

"I can only be ambitious. A lot of the kids going are seniors. If I don't go this year, then they will not get to come, and I just want to make this happen," said Saillard.

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