Serving Francophone Populations in the United States where they are...

New York
Birthplace of the FHLP, New York City represents at once the power, energy, diversity and philosophy of the Program. With over 450 students enrolled in 2014, our classes are now offered in 10 public high schools (Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan), one elementary Charter school in Harlem (NYFACS), and in various community-based organizations including the Malian Cultural center in Harlem and church-based Haitian Americans in Action in Brooklyn. These collaborations have allowed eligible students to get valuable credits for graduation, successfully take SAT or AP exams as well as take part in the numerous cultural workshops and school trips organized outside the classroom throughout the year. Two new high schools are about to join this year and demand continues to grow among community-based centers, with more and more public and local partners financing our classes on a 50% basis or more. The strength of the NYFACS Charter School and increased enrollment in public school dual language programs demonstrates the enthusiasm for French language support among French, Francophone and American communities in New York City.  As a laboratory for experimentations in and outside of the classroom, our New York City Program has played a strategic role in developing free French classes and teaching resources made available online, while inspiring and serving our other Programs and local initiatives across the country.

Just one month after the devastating Haiti earthquake in January 2010, the French Heritage Language Program opened its first classes at Miami’s Little Haiti Cultural Center. Thanks to the work and commitment of our local partner, the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance, and contributing organizations like Easter Seals South Florida, this program has met with ever growing success with enrollment totaling 150 students on five sites in 2012. Boyd Anderson High School, in Broward County, provides an excellent example of the success of the French Heritage Language Program. For the second year now, this high school partners with FHLP on a 50% basis and offers its students preparation to the AP French with excellent results. With the help of the Broward County Board of Public Schools, a neighboring elementary school might also join the program next year to create a continuum with Boyd Anderson.  Other classes continue at the Little Haiti Cultural Center and the Toussaint Louverture elementary school. Since Spring 2012, our Miami Program is also part of the nationally recognized Prime Time Family Reading Program that offers free reading and debate sessions for children and their parents. The demand for new French classes is still very high in Florida, especially south of Miami in the Kendall region.

Following the success of the pilot French program “Le Soleil” in two schools of Augusta in early 2011, the French Heritage Language Program has allied its forces with the University of Maine at Augusta, the Franco American Heritage Center in Lewiston and the Quebec-based Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques to launch an innovative French heritage program in three schools of Augusta and Auburn. The program opened last January in two elementary schools in Augusta and one elementary school in Auburn (Lewiston area). A fourth school will join the program in Fall 2012.

The “Maine French Heritage Language Program” is based on a curriculum specifically designed to meet the needs of the Franco-American community in the state of Maine, where an estimated 30% of the population is of Franco-American heritage. The program strives to bridge the gap between generations, offering the younger age group the possibility to access, maintain and transmit their cultural and linguistic heritage. It is open to every child and also aims to promote the diversity of French and francophone cultures.  At a time when the demand for French instruction is high, the program hopes that its efforts will serve as a model for other cities in Maine and New England.

[1] The Internationals Network for Public Schools is a network of high schools that seeks to ease the integration of recent immigrant students from around the world, and promote their academic success. The percentage of French speakers in these schools tops 20 to 40%. The project-based, differentiated pedagogy used in this network have been implemented in our classes as well.