A few weeks ago I received the Medal of Honor from the Committee of French-speaking Societies in the United States for services rendered to the French community through the Bilingual Revolution. I was also listed as one “who makes other people love France” by French business magazine Les Echos. I am deeply touched by these distinctions, but the truth is, it could not have been possible without the robust effort of parents, teachers, donors, and the unwavering support of the French Embassy and FACE Foundation.
Children and adults alike are becoming part of this movement to preserve linguistic, cultural, and historical ties to the Francophone world. This Revolution has swept NYC by storm, and slowly spreads to the entire United States and the rest of the world. With your help, we can multiple these successes innumerably.
In 2014, 200 schools in 30 states and 116 cities offer a French bilingual program in the United States. We anticipate to multiply exponentially because the truth is that French is alive and well in New York and the world. Why? Because our children are part of a world where French is spoken in over 50 countries, and as a microcosm of the world, New York City embraces the francophone world into a thriving community. Our children deserve the opportunity to connect not only with their relatives and friends, but also with their culture and their history. I suppose these among many other reasons are what motivated Michelle Obama to release PBS’s new Global Learning & Diplomacy Collection for grades K to 13 in French.
It’s working. The support is rampant, but as a recent France 24 article mentioned, “New York, where French school is free – and fought over”, this ‘fight’ is a blessing in disguise, which proves that the demand for bilingual French education is there. Let’s work together to reduce the limitations because the truth is that it shouldn’t be a luxury.
You may be asking – what exactly can I do? As an individual? As an entity and as an organization? Well, from a parent to an investor, it begins with a strong belief that bilingual education is not superfluous. It is critical in the increasingly globalized society in which we live. This belief will lead you to connect to others who are avid supporters and change-makers. During a recent meeting with a French community in Texas, we connected over this belief, and the outcome of the meeting- a strategic plan to expand the Revolution to their front. It can happen. It will happen. I – among many others are here to support you.
From 24 kids in one kindergarten class in Brooklyn, we’ve grown exponentially. 2014 was a great year for the Bilingual Revolution, starting with a NY Times article that still resonates. The truth is that the linguistic picture of NYC and of the entire country is changing rapidly. Let’s make 2015 an even greater year. Are you part of the Revolution? Join us!
Happy holidays to you and yours, and best wishes for the new year,
Dr. Fabrice Jaumont
Education Attaché, Cultural Services French Embassy
Program Director, FACE Foundation
Where do contributions go?
1) Expanding the French Dual Language Program to more schools. By opening to more schools that do not yet have programs, we can create a strong impact for the ever-growing number of francophone and francophile families and communities in New York City.
2) Attracting great teachers. We will provide grants for teachers to become qualified and certified in bilingual education. This guarantees a larger pool of qualified teachers to match the expansion of dual language programs.
3) The purchase of French books. All dual language programs need a steady stream of new French books and resources, and require the purchase of large quantities of specific books.
What to give?
The estimated cost per student is $400 per year.
– By contributing up to $80, you provide books and resources for one dual language student for a year.
– By contributing $500, you fund a teacher’s professional development for a year
– By contributing $2,000 – $12,000, you become an integral member of a school’s community. Your contribution will create scholarships to support new student-teachers and provide books and resources for countless students.
The French Dual Language Program is an initiative of FACE Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.
The program is overseen by an Advisory Committee of engaged parents and educators.