Thirty-eight French students from T.C. Williams High School got the opportunity to polish their language skills for three weeks this summer as guests of French families in Villefranche-sur-Saone in the Beaujolais region. French teacher Robert Smawley of Park Center Drive, Alexandria, and Margaret Mara, a teacher of English as a second language, of 36th Street, Arlington, organized the exchange program. T.C. Williams students were visited by students from France last spring.
While in France, the T.C. Williams students toured vineyards, the city of Lyon, the old medieval town of Tournus, and the castle at Brancion. The students' conversational abilities improved a great deal during their stay, Mara said.Derek Meyer, an eighth grade student at George Washington Junior High School and the son of David and Jane Meyer of Cameron Mills Road in Alexandria, is one of 72 teen-age writers who were selected to develop their writing talents at a Young Writers Workshop at the University of Virginia.
Professional writers worked with the students for two weeks in seminars on fiction, script writing, poetry, free-lance writing and song writing. The students' work culminated with the reading of original material at a Writer's Cafe.
Meyer, who took part in the script-writing seminar, worked with group members who wrote and acted out a court scene in which a man was on trial for stealing government secrets.