Franco-American dad Stéphane Lautner has mobilized in recent months for the opening of a new bilingual French English program in Manhattan, and he did well! Thanks to his efforts coupled with those of other parents, and supported by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York and the French Consulate General in New York, a new bilingual and free program will open at the start of the new school year.
In the Upper East Side
Two bilingual French-English classes from Pre-K will open on the Upper East Side at the start of the 2020-2021 school year, the first step towards a possible bilingual program up to the 5th grade. The site retained by the Department of Education (DOE) of New York City is located at 355 East 76th Street. Registrations are in progress until March 16 on the website of the Department of Education (school reference: 02Z128) for children born in 2016.
It is a first step won and gives the hope of seeing other classes open, in the same school, if recruitment allows. It is also a hope for other parents who wish, in their turn, to mobilize, in other districts of the city.
For his part, Stéphane Lautner reacted: “The parents of the community had the vision and the desire for bilingual education for their children. The birth of this program is the result of two years of work ”
"When my daughter entered kindergarten, I realized that in her class, there were about 8 other French-speaking children while it is a monolingual public school" explained Stephane Lautner.
1,500 students enrolled in a French-speaking program
For almost two years, with the help of a few parents, but also the support of Fabrice Jaumont from Cultural Services, the Franco-American father will have moved heaven and earth for a new bilingual program to open in the district area 2 of the Department of Education of the city of New York.
Today, in the New York public education system, 7 elementary schools and 3 middle schools host bilingual English-French programs. Some 1,500 students benefit from education in both French and English, without this education being recognized by the French Ministry of Education. According to the International Organization of La Francophonie, there are approximately 80,000 French speakers in New York, and nearly 40,000 French are registered at the French Consulate in New York. Suffice to say that access to free bilingual education remains limited in the city, which never sleeps for French-speaking children.
For its part, the Consul General of France in New York, Anne-Claire Legendre thanked all the authorities who allowed the opening of this program. "This program will not only offer bilingual education to children of French-speaking families, it will also support New York multiculturalism."