There's nothing like a friendly, relaxed lunch to make new friendships. Especially an All-American lunch, much appreciated by visitors from France.

Seventeen French students are spending a few school days in Sale Creek, and later this week in East Ridge.  The unusual arrangement began, thanks to Sale Creek teacher David Helton who dreamed big, of a trip to France that would open new doors for his students.

With the help of the Public Education Foundation's Global Learning Experience and the Fund for Teachers, Helton's dream came true. It provides students from both countries an experience they otherwise might never have realized.

Many Sale Creek students who have never journeyed far from home will be getting the other side of the story next spring, when they visit their new friends, who will then be hosting them. It's a part of high school that few of us ever get to experience, and both sets of students are eager to learn.

Helton is a physical education teacher at Sale Creek. His project investigated the diet, fitness habits, and reasons for low obesity in France. His goal was to use the experience to develop obesity and fitness programs to benefit students in Hamilton County Schools.