French For Fun, Lafayette, California

French For Fun - Newsletter

ARCHIVE - September/October 2010

It is hard to believe that a month has passed since we opened our doors for the new school year 2010-2011. It is wonderful to see many continuing students as well as a new generation of babies and toddlers enroll in our morning immersion programs at French for Fun. At present we have a total of 91 enrolled students in both morning and afternoon programs. We are starting to put new families on the waitlist for some classes in our Total Immersion Morning Program.

Last Spring, we graduated our 8th graders group who had been in our program since they were in Moms & Tots at French for Fun on Brown Avenue. We also said goodbye to a number of our children entering kindergarten who went to private schools and some first graders we simply could not accommodate due to space and scheduling issues. Yet, despite all these challenges we face each August, this Rentrée was very exciting and truthfully we have never been so organized and prepared than this fall. I have all the French for Fun families to thank. Your dedication and support towards French for Fun year after year is extraordinary and very much appreciated.

This summer we welcomed one new teacher and a new parent volunteer to help in the office. Our diverse group of international staff portrays the presence of a global community which explains why we are incorporated under the name, The International Enrichment Center, Inc. Their presence and support create cultural awareness and social inclusion. Please be sure to visit our staff page for more details.

Our faculty brings a wealth of experiences and talent. Our collaboration and expansion of learning ideas across age, gender, and ethnicity further strengthens our work in the classroom. The teachers' dedication and commitment to create a learning environment that is pleasant, inviting and nurturing to our students has been a tremendous assistance to me as the director of the program. Our teachers take pride in creating the proper aesthetics to enhance the learning senses of our students in the classrooms. Our multifunctional classrooms stimulate the warm atmosphere of beauty required for the early childhood programs in the morning. The very same classrooms captivate and intrigue the school-age and pre-adolescents with the terrain of the Tour De France, collections of post impressionism, gardens of Tournesols and authentic materials collected in Provence. Creativity at French for Fun is endless.

We obviously do not solely rely on our artistic talents. All our teachers at French for Fun are credentialed and/or qualified to teach French as a second language. This summer and continuing through out the year, most of our teachers, including myself, are enrolled in Early Childhood Education classes. Madame Isabelle is pursuing her interest in Montessori education, Monsieur Baimba is taking general courses in child development and I am enrolled in an administrative course at Diablo Valley College.

Since the International Enrichment Center is "l'école" to many preschoolers as well as an afternoon learning center for K-12 students, the curriculum at French for Fun weaves a strong element of imagination and emotional engagement into every academic and specialty project. By connecting the children's personal experience with their education, a deeper understanding of the subject matter results and seeds are set for future creative and active thinking. To see first hand how much our teachers have done already in one month with their students, please click on classroom notes. It is impressive and so uniquely French For Fun.

Our passion, and our hard work have paid off and indeed inspired hundreds of students in the past 30 years. Over the summer, I heard from another former student who started French as a Kindergartener at Monte Gardens and who is now eager to enroll her 7 month old baby girl in our Baby Circle program. Maggie studied French all her life, lived in France for years and can't wait for the Friday circle to start. We are looking for more babies to join us, so tell your friends. Madeleine, another former student, is presently living with a French family in Paris and studying there for a semester as part of her program at Stanford. Madeleine was among the small group of children who began the French for Fun Morning Immersion program on Ygnacio Valley road in Walnut Creek. Madeleine has 2 sisters who also grew up learning French at French for Fun and one of them is still here. Yes, mom has been commuting from Piedmont all these years.

News like this is priceless of course and so motivating...so I keep going and going... Many events and field trips have been scheduled for our students these upcoming weeks...more opportunities to connect with the community at large and involve you as well. Looking forward to seeing you at the farm, the theater...and at French for Fun.

A très bientôt,

Madame Catherine




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