The Dewitt Creativity Group is a united effort on behalf of the creatively-minded students at DHS to ensure continued innovation and expression in all forms.

DHS Students Promoting French Language

The DeWitt and Michigan Creativity Groups, International Club at DeWitt High School, and DHS French Club are working to create a French speaking community in Lansing, Michigan. DHS teachers Jason LaFay and Katie Noyes have collaborated with Old Town, Lansing businesses to place and feature "bienvenue" signs in their front windows. Additionally, the signs are helping other efforts to promote the French language in the area and  create a welcoming environment for visitors and new residents. To encourage participation, students will take selfies with the signs for extra credit (promoting the businesses)and participate in a scavenger hunt to learn more about Old Town later in the semester. Many thanks to the businesses and individuals who are supporting this initiative:

Austin Ashley

Jeff Croley

Grace Boutique
Lamb's Gate Antiques
Mother and Earth Baby Boutique
Polka Dots Bead-a-full Boutique
Absolute Gallery
The Creole Coffee Co.
The Old Town Commercial Association Office

Douglass Signs

The following is a letter addressed to the Old Town Commercial Association Executive Board regarding the effort:


Dear OTCA Board of Directors,

I am writing this proposal on behalf of the DeWitt High School French Club, DHS International Club, and DeWitt Creativity Group. Katie Noyes and I are both teachers at DHS who are interested in working with Old Town Commercial Association members to promote the French language. A key objective of DeWitt Public Schools District is to engage with community members to broaden appreciation and respect for different cultures in the Mid-Michigan area. Given Katie’s subject matter – French – we thought creating signs with “bienvenue” (welcome) written on them would be a great way to provide students and others with a unique cultural/educational experience. This is where Old Town businesses come in: we are asking if there are at least 10-15 (or more) businesses willing to post signs on their storefront windows and/or entrances. Hopefully before the end of the holiday season in order to maximize exposure and other marketing potential.

The “bienvenue” signs will be professionally made by Douglas Sign Company located on South Cedar Street in Lansing. Signs will measure 8 x 12 with a white background and red text. Additionally, they will be provided free of charge to participating businesses. Our only request is for the businesses to post the signs in a visible place. Students will then be required to visit several of the businesses, taking selfies to record their interactions. This will be part of a French II scavenger hunt activity involving Old Town landmarks and other applicable features. Moreover, students will create social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Snapchat etc.) to promote the signs and businesses. It is our intent to spread awareness of Old Town businesses along with the French language.

We greatly appreciate Austin Ashley’s willingness to work with us on this project. His visit in October to Katie’s French I class was very informative and eye opening to students. Several of them commented about the interesting festivals and other events going on throughout the year in Old Town. Also, I worked with Jeff Croley and Brittney Hoszkiw – the prior OCTA Executive Director - to put on River Bash, a youth arts festival in the late spring of 2011. The event included a poetry slam, live music, scavenger hunt, comedy improv, and boat cruises with between 350-450 attendees. A further reason why we considered Old Town for this request is its reputation for openness and innovation. Finally, this collaboration complements efforts by other Lansing area residents such as Gaelle Cassin-Ross’s opening of a French cultural center on the eastside of Lansing called Aux Petits Soins. Thank you for your time and consideration.

If anyone has questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact myself or Katie Noyes:

Jason LaFay

Katie Noyes