French For Fun, Lafayette, California

French For Fun - Newsletter

ARCHIVE - January 2011

Janvier 2011 was a terrific month at French for Fun! Teachers and students were happy to see each other again on January 3rd and within a few minutes, everyone was kissing and hugging and saying, Bonne Année, Bonne Santé.

Of course everyone was really looking forward to La Fête des Rois, Kings' Day. This year, one of our parents who has a catering business baked all the galettes. Some were the traditional ones with a frangipane and two others were les brioches de Provence. Everything was so good. Merci Chiefo! To contact Chiefo's Kitchen, please call (510)689-6096 or send an email to

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The lucky one who found la fève in his/her piece of galette was crowned le Roi (king) ou la Reine (queen) and had to choose a mate. Kissing was optional. Here are our kings and queens for the year 2011.

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This January, I also attended two meetings which were very informative and encouraging to me as a parent and an educator. First, Bentley High School had invited Robert Patterson to the Junior Class College Kick off. Mr. Patterson is the director of admissions at Stanford. He stressed the fact that schools are not just looking at the GPA, but rather at what the student has accomplished and what he/she can contribute to the college community: what makes them different.

Certainly, all our former immersion students, now in prestigious universities have shared with us that their experience at FFF was part of their application essay and often discussed during their college interviews.

Then, I had the pleasure to hear Dr. Willard Daggett, CEO of the International Center for Leadership in Education, speak on "Our Children's Future in a Changing World". Dr. Daggett was invited by Mt Diablo Unified School District and spoke to educators and parents while in the Bay Area. Please take a few minutes to visit the website.

The idea of integrating all disciplines, making learning fun and relevant, creating an authentic and rich environment have been of course core elements of our philosophy at French For Fun for the last 32 years.

More good news... Claire Ball, who attended preschool at French for Fun in Walnut Creek and was part of our first Total Immersion program is now an aid in the morning program. Claire is excited and we are delighted to have her. She brings a lot of energy into our program and it is evident that she grew up at French for Fun, so familiar with our ways of doing things. Claire's profile is available on the staff page on our website. Be sure to come and say Bonjour.

We also would like to inform you of 3 new classes this winter:

  • A Grammar & Literature circle for Advanced students, taught by Madame Parastou (Tuesdays - 4:30-5:30pm)
  • Beginner French for Middle school/High school, taught by Madame Catherine (Tuesdays - 4:30-5:30pm)
  • A new Baby Circle, taught by Madame Catherine, will start on Tuesday February, 1st (Tuesdays - 11:15 -12pm)

Finally, some of you have already asked about summer. Indeed it is time to start making plans. As in the past, we will offer a morning program for our younger students and hope to organize some total immersion fun excursions for the older students. More details will come your way in the weeks to come.

We also would like to recommend Canoe Island French Camp to all of you with older kids, 4th/5th grade on. Last summer, Robert, my son attended one of the sessions and loved it. At the end of the camp I went to pick him up and met everyone. I was so impressed. The staff is incredible, the site simply beautiful, the food delicious...truly a gem. Please visit their website and take a look at their brochure. Robert is hoping to return this summer as a volunteer.

The camp also organizes some family events, so if you would like to visit the San Juan Islands in Washington take a look. I know you will fall in love with the place just as we did.

You can also welcome a French Student to your family this summer. As a former High School exchange student, I know of course how incredible this experience is for the students and for the hosting families. This year we are working with the Center for Cultural Interchange. We have met with one of their representatives and are delighted to support Gulya Gehring's endeavor. Please contact her if you have an interest: .

Once again to all of you, may you have a wonderful year! We have many events planned for your children, so we look forward to seeing many of you in the weeks to come.

Catherine Jolivet
Director/Master Teacher

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