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Reid Henri Lewis, La Médaille d’Or de Solidarité et Valeu

Reid Lewis is founder and director of Aventure Française, Inc., a total-immersion language school with weekend and summer programs for middle school, high school and adult students. Created in a recreational setting in 1987, Aventure Française models the use of the French language for authentic purposes while engaging students in fun, novel activities, primarily out-of-doors.

During the American bicentennial celebration in 1976, Mr. Lewis led a 23-man canoe trek to replicate the La Salle Expedition from Montreal to the Gulf of Mexico in 1681-82, creating temporary camps along the Mississippi River to teach residents about the French in America. He also re-enacted the 3,000-mile voyage of Joliet-Marquette in 1673- 74 and served as consultant, translator, crewmember, and actor in a film about the Mississippi River for the Cousteau Society.

As founding member and board director of La Compagnie des Amis de Fort de Chartres, Mr. Lewis contributed to the restoration of the last eighteenth- century French fort built in the Illinois Country. His current projects to enhance Franco-American friendships include locating La Salle’s ship Le Griffon and serving as a representative to Chicago-Paris Sister Cities, the Chicago Marathon, Alliance Franco-Américaine du Midwest, and France-Louisiane Franco-Américaine.

A French-immersion teacher, adventurer, environmentalist, and motivational speaker for forty years, Reid Lewis delivers multimedia presentations to schools, civic groups, and corporate meetings in the United States and abroad. The French government has awarded Mr. Lewis the title of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques.


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