The French Dual Language Fund: Supporting Bilingual Education in NYC
On September 20th, I was delighted to attend the inauguration of the French Dual Language Fund at the CUNY Graduate Center. The Fund was created to support French/English bilingual education in NYC and the rest of the United States.
If you’re familiar with my journey as a parent of a multilingual child, you will know that it was really important for me that my son learn both Spanish and French, and that I fought hard to create a French dual language program in my district, District 30 in Queens, NY.
Unfortunately, the program did not come to fruition but I’m still very much involved in bilingual education and the dual language space; I try to stay aware of what’s happening in NYC.
What is the French Dual Language Fund?
The French Dual Language Fund is a fund set to support bilingual leducation in the USA. It will help with three things:
Grants: Grants to support schools’ pressing needs
Scholarships: To support the graduate education of bilingual teachers
French teaching interns: To facilitate the recruitment of French interns to come and participate in the classroom
Why is having a Fund like this important?
Dual language programs in public schools in NYC help children get a bilingual education without the exorbitant price tag of attending a private school in NYC.
Being a parent in a NYC public school, I am well aware of the lack of funding that school administrators face. They often rely on fundraising, parental involvement and more. Many times, they lack the means to buy things that really, should be givens, like extra support foe teachers and books to enhance children’s learning. The Fund will provide schools with much-needed support.
The fund has a goal of raising $2 million to support their work. To date, they have raised $1.4 million, thanks to generous contributions from Chanel, BIC, AXA, Best Buy and Whole Foods, among others.
If you wish to donate or learn more about the Fund, you can head to FACE Foundation.
The Highlights of the Inauguration
For me, there were two highlights of the Inauguration. First, the presence of President Emmanuel Macron, who spoke beautifully about the advantages of bilingualism and what he hoped this type of education would bring to the world.
Second, and so moving, were the beautiful children from two dual language programs who were there to perform. The first group performed a play on refugees, and another group was a choir who was there to sing the national anthems of both the USA and France.
To see the video and read more about the highlights of the event, check out my highlights.