Blog

Summer 2017

Summer is the time for new experiences, new people and new places. What best that learning a new language while making new friends? Make your summer count and join us to have fun in French!

During school breaks, the French American Academy organizes camps both for our students and the neighborhood children who wish to learn some French language and culture. This summer, both New Milford and Jersey City campuses offered unique and diverse activities to keep our campers happy and engaged, en français, bien sûr!

In New Milford, children improved their French while exploring Arts from the dawn of ages to the very contemporary and most avant-garde trends. Children made their very own masterpieces based on Prehistoric or Abstract Art. They used various supports and technics like charcoal, pastels, paints or clay while learning about French Impressionist artist and Tribal Arts.

In Jersey City, we learned French through different themes such as Art & Nature where children used recycled items to create funny faces, (re)painted Les coquelicots of Monet and gardened to celebrate nature.

They built parachutes and boats during the Young Engineers weeks.

And, of course, they danced ballet and HipHop during our Musical weeks. They learned about all kinds of instruments and even played a little of violin as well.

 

They cooked, they sang and did sports during the Healthy week as well. And went to the park, laughed, jumped, played with the sprinklers and made so many new Friends!

At the end of August and only on New Milford campus, our coach will also organize a week of Soccer Camp. This will definitely give a head start to our soccer team who plays in the AYSO league while getting enough energy to get started on a brand new school year.

Who thinks that when and the end of the school year June come, we are sad to see our students leaving the school to have new adventures elsewhere, could not be more wrong! Because we know we will have our own extraordinary journey with some older and new friends learning new things, speaking French with our energetic Summer Teachers in a cool, relaxed and fun atmosphere.

We are so happy that our bilingual school stays open all year long to meet new children, welcome our students looking for entertaining activities during the breaks and giving the opportunity to a largest crowd to discover a foreign language.

Vivement l’été prochain!

-The Summer Team

 

June 15, 2017

Every year, we celebrate the end of the school year with a big show. All students and teachers work for months to prepare a unique performance and show their last project to our community of parents. Based on Fairy Tales or a faux Broadway Casting, our shows traditionally start with  “La Marseillaise” and  “America The Beautiful”.

June 8, 2017

When comes June and its beautiful weather, it is time for our students to experience the world and out-of-the-box activities. So what better than field trips? Here is a sneak peak of our students enjoyed during this last month of June.

The Pre-K went to the New York Aquarium where they enjoyed watching the sea life and a great sea-lions show!

And, later on, they could not resist and had to dip a few toes in the Ocean.

The Elementary grades went rock-climbing at Hudson Play and a week later, met on New Milford Campus for the famous FAA Olympics!

June 1, 2017

Congratulations to our class of 6th grade who won the award of the most avant-garde film at the San Diego Short Film Festival!

May 24, 2017

On May 19th and 20th, Mr. Brasseur, our Art Teacher, welcome all FAA parents and the neighborhood community for our first Art Exhibit at the Jersey City Campus.
230 students, 20 classes, 3 campuses participated in this project, imagining, designing, building and decorating rooms, houses, structures  and skyscrapers to put up the FAA city with the help of all our dedicated English, French and Art Teachers. And because we believe in protecting our environment, our young architects developed their ideal city from recycled material and reused items. This year-long multi-disciplinary project gathered our two-year old students with our middle schoolers through a common interest : our living space, the urban life and the ideal home.

If you had not the chance to stroll through this City with its eco-friendly houses, its urban and exotic landscapes and even the little dreamy Village in the Clouds, check this video.

 

May  16, 2017

Les élèves de petite section ont peint des supports en carton en étalant de la peinture avec des cartes. Ils ont ensuite formé des lettres en utilisant des éléments de recyclage collectés au fil des semaines, puis les ont collées sur les supports en carton pour former un abécédaire.

Les élèves de grande section ont utilisé des objets recyclés collectés pendant plusieurs semaines pour fabriquer des villes imaginaires et pouvoir jouer en classe.

-New Milford Campus  

May  9, 2017

Our PreK-2, Pre-K3 and both Kindergartners classes went on a field trip to one of the NYC Zoos in Queens.

What a great way to say goodbye to the winter cold weather! Our younger students took a bus to go see all kinds of animals, eat their picnic in the park and all together enjoyed a beautiful spring day in New York City. They petted the animals from the farm where the mini goats were a big hit punctuated with a lot of “How Cute!” They got to see very colorful birds and wild life animals such as a bear and a lynx and of course, the highlight of the day was the Sea Lions Show.

After long hours learning about animals, their habitat and their lifestyle in both French and English, this day was certainly a great reward for our students, their teachers and our volunteer chaperones. Thank you for this awesome day of fun!

– Jersey City Campus at the Queens Zoo

 

May 1-5, 2017

Our 6th graders from New Milford Campus went on a 5-day overnight trip to Arizona.

Last Sunday evening, our 6th graders flew to Arizona with their teachers: sunscreen, sneakers and hats all nicely packed, a last kiss goodbye to their parents and ready for adventures! After a very short first night in their very nice hotel rooms, our teenagers met other bilingual students of their age from the International School of Arizona. They challenged each other through quizzes about their respective home states and during an epic soccer game under the blazing sun. That special human and friendly exchange was so intense that the kids decided to come back at the end of their Arizonian week… a way to close the loop.

It would be hard to decide which of the other activities were best… Would it be the special jam in the Musical Instrument Museum where  the group not only learned about music but had the chance to play all kinds of instruments? Or was it the drive in the Apache Trail and the search for the lost Dutchman Gold Mine in the Superstition Mountains? What about the hike and camping night in the Grand Canyon? The late night dip in the hotel pool or the s’mores eaten during the campfire? For Emmanuel Brasseur, our Art Teacher who coordinated the trip and supervised our middle schoolers with such selfless dedication, it was probably the discussion about that particular sculpture in Phoenix or maybe that time at the Heard Museum where all his students chose a Native American Statue representing their personality and character.

For both teachers and students, the whole experience brought them closer to each other, the hardship of the hike as well as all the laughter they shared. What if, after all, their best moment was when each and every one of them realized that within that short week, they grew up and got closer to the adults they will be tomorrow?  

PS : A warm thank you to Delphine François who took very good care of our students and assisted Emmanuel Brasseur in every step of the way.

-New Milford Campus in Arizona

May 2, 2017

Our Kindergartners from both New Milford and Jersey City campuses went to Montclair State University to watch a performance based on the very famous children books’ author Dr. Seuss, “Seussical“.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seussical is a very entertaining musical based on the stories of Dr. Seuss including “Horton Hears a Who!“, “Horton Hatches the Egg” and “Miss Gertrude McFuzz” specially designed for a young audience. Our students thoroughly enjoyed the original story as well as the songs and the funny characters. The children had the chance to picnic prior to the show and enjoy some playtime on this sunny spring day. It was a perfect field trip full of beautiful colors, funny characters and friends. 

– New Milford and Jersey City at Montclair State University

April 26, 2017

Our Pre-K4 class welcomed their parents in their classroom for an eventful breakfast!

Our “Moyenne Section*” class spent the last few weeks working on the African continent with a special focus on Senegal as part of their yearlong “Travel Around the World” project. As a big finale, they wanted to invite their parents over to share everything they learned around a “verre de bissap” and some cakes. They sang, danced and then presented both in English and French what the specifics of Senegal are. Did you know that French is one the official languages of Senegal? Did you know that “le foot” is their favorite sport? They also presented their visual arts project “An African Village” as well as the “awalé” game they crafted themselves.

It was a real pleasure to see all the parents and students gathered, laughing and enjoying this very special breakfast. We are looking forward to the next destination!

*Pre-K4

– Jersey City Campus

April 22, 2017

In April, it was our Jersey City students’ turn to invite their parent for their Science Fair.

Our 1st graders played some music on instruments they built from recycled material while the 2nd graders tried to fly all kinds of aircraft they also made from reused items. Our 3rd and 4th graders designed self-sufficient houses and showed a lot of creativity in their architecture skills. The Science Fair ended with a paper plane contest which all our students enjoyed thoroughly.
A special thanks to all Elementary teachers for their dedication in Scientific projects.

-Jersey City Campus

April 21, 2017

In 2017, Earth Day is celebrated worldwide on April 22nd. Today, all the FAA students wore a green outfit and were made aware of the dangers of too much trash thanks to a great presentation by the 3rd and 4th graders followed by an exhibition of projects created by the Pre-K3 children based on recycled material.

Since our foundation, Anne-Sophie Gueguen, our Head of School and a true “green person”, has made the choice to create not only a respectful and open-to-the-world school but also a place where children can develop an awareness of the planet needs. On a daily basis, we encourage children to bring reusable silverware and bottles and to recycle appropriately.

Of course, Earth day was the occasion to reinforce this on-going effort. The 3rd and 4th graders worked on a presentation for the whole school. They also made Earth planets out of recycled material. The younger ones also had a lot of fun making flying and floating objects out of what is usually discarded material. To finish this very special day, the whole school went to the neighborhood streets to clean up and recycle some more wasted resources and decorated our school with plants in pots specially made by the Pre-K3 class as well.

On Saturday, April 22nd, some FAA parents, staff and children will participate in the 5K Run at Liberty State Park in Jersey City and in Riveredge. More info here. All together we can make a difference and help saving our planet!

-Jersey City Campus

April 4, 2017

In 2016/2017, both Jersey City and New Milford campuses had the chance to go see  Ms Nelson, Aesop’s Fables or Seussical in local (therefore English-speaking) performances  centers. In March, we also hosted a French Theater Troop called La compagnie Pikrocole for a modern performance of “Le chat botté*” mixing singing, puppeteering and shadow play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The children watched, sang along and absolutely enjoyed this performance of a classic story by French writer, Charles Perrault. They also attended a workshop lead by the Director,  Sophie Balazard and her actress and puppeteers. Our student made their very own puppet to keep a souvenir of this unforgettable day.

In order to develop confidence, creativity and oral skills, we choose to promote plays and performances at the French American Academy. Not only our teachers do encourage their students to express themselves through “What’s Up Today?” routines or rehearse recitals of poems and play scenes during class but we also regularly take them to local theaters to watch professional performers and actors playing  famous, classic or modern roles.

We are also  already working on our End-of-the-Year Celebration and can’t wait to share this long-term commitment with our community of parents. Stay tuned for the big finale!

*”Puss in Boots”

-Jersey City and New Milford Campuses

April 10-13 2017

During school breaks, we usually hold a “mini camp”. Those camps are meant for both our students and for the neighborhood children who wish to spend their free week away from their parents having fun in French.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Spring Break at our Jersey City Campus, we chose to have a Bilingual Camp with both English and French Teachers around a common theme: “Magic and Fairy Tales”. The children had the chance not only to meet new friends but also to discover new French words in a relaxed and nurturing ambiance.

For example, our little campers made magic wands and floating heads, cooked multicolored chocolate flowers, played Treasure Hunt at the Park and of course, read fantastic fairy tales filled with magic creatures and wizards. We had such a great time we wished school would not start so soon! Thank you Ms Anna, Ms Veronica, Ms Resy, Ms Sandrine and Mr Mathieu for your endless dedication and love of teaching!

We can’t wait to meet new and old friends again this summer for our 8-week camp! Click here for more info.

-Jersey City Campus

April 5, 2017

At the French American Academy, we value extracurricular activities such as Arts, Music and Sports. Let’s focus on the Art Class on our Jersey City campus taught by Emmanuel Brasseur, an out-of-the ordinary and multi-faceted teacher.

Emmanuel, aka Mr. Manu, teaches art to the elementary grades in Jersey City. Since he moved from Quebec last September, our young students have worked on so many colorful and unforgettable projects, each and every one of them related to a notable artist. Introductive pattern work through the children’s first names (Roy Lichtenstein), the Crazy Jungle (Douanier Rousseau) and the Funny Circus (Alexander Calder) allow our student to discover an artist and create their own masterpiece. Mr. Manu also introduced them to other cultures through the Halloween Skulls from the Mexican Dia de los Muertes, African Primary Arts Masks and some art trends such as Cubist portraits. He is also preparing a special Architecture Fair for which the students have been working on their ideal city (see more in May !). Visit his Arts Lab to see more.

If Emmanuel is such a great Art Teacher, both for our 6th graders in New Milford as well as our students in Jersey City, it is probably because he is an accomplished and curious artist who constantly searches for new ideas in his new urban environment. Therefore he is able to share his passion with our younger ones. He is currently exhibiting, visit his website to know more.

 

March 20-24, 2017

Every other year, the 4th and 5th graders leave their families for a 5-day trip to Canada where they will discover a bilingual country with its history, landscapes and friendly people.

 

 

 

 

On March 20th, the 4th and 5 graders from our New Milford Campus left their families for a cultural trip to Montreal and Quebec with their teachers. Once they arrived in Montreal after a really smooth bus ride, they immediately started their very busy program: visits to the Notre Dame Basilica and the Archaeological Museum were followed by a stroll in the Underground City and a trip to the Huron Village, a Native American Reservation. After a two-day stay in Quebec, where they learned about its government, history and key landmarks and had the opportunity to do some shopping, our students returned to Montreal where they saw the Biodome and ate some Poutine.

The children finally returned to their home with a newly developed sense of independence and self-reliance, ready to share with their parents all the things they discovered, saw and tasted.  We are already looking forward to next year’s destination

-New Milford in Canada

 

March 20-24, 2017

March is the month of La Francophonie* and at the French American Academy we could not miss the opportunity to promote not only the French language but also the various cultures and countries that speak French around the world.

 

 

 

 

It has been for a few weeks that all of classes have been working on a specific French-speaking country or region and this past week every class has shared with all the other students what they learned and discovered. First, we stopped in Tunisia and tasted some couscous, then walked through all the different landscapes of Martinique. We saw a volcano erupting like the Piton de la Fournaise in La Reunion and learned all about Haiti, Switzerland and Senegal thanks to our well diversified community of parents. Of course, we also had some Belgian waffles and disco-danced on Plastic Bertrand!

A special thanks to our dedicated teachers, our eager-to-learn students and their parents for this very special week!

*The French-Speaking Community through the world : over 270 million of French speakers living in over 80 countries on all the continents.

-Jersey City Campus

March 17, 2017

Every year, our students take part in the “Défi Scientifique”, an initiative throughout French schools to promote science and experimentation at an early age. Parents were invited to see their finished projects for our traditional Science Fair.

In March, our students from the New Milford campus worked on different projects mostly based on sustainable development. Our younger ones from Pre-K classes learned the origin of and the different ways to accommodate and cook two essential pantry staples: bread and butter. Our elementary students built eco-friendly houses with recycled material. Those projects had to be sustainable in extreme climates like the Arctic or the Rain Forest and self-sufficient with renewable energy. The middle schoolers created music instruments from all kinds of recycled and repurposed materials and played some music during the fair!

                                   Our community of parents were excited to discover the different assignments that required so much effort and dedication from our students. They were also impressed by how knowledgeable and eloquent the students were while presenting their projects….in both English and French, of course!

-New Milford Campus

In April, during our spring break, a group consisting of teachers and directors from all FAA campuses will participate in the “Senegazelle” race to promote cultural exchanges beyond the US borders.

Created in 2007 by Jean-Michel Ferron, a physical education teacher and athlete,  this all-female race aims to donate and distribute school supplies to students in the Foundiougne region near Dakar in Senegal.

Every day, for a week, women run about 10 km carrying the donations they gathered in their own country to give to local families. Besides the selfless act of generosity and the athletic challenges, Jean-Michel created a race for females from around the world who value education and share a passion for discovery of new cultures and countries.

We are proud of our team who not only teach but also demonstrate, on a daily basis, the values and principles that we believe important for the future generation of leaders with a healthy mind, body and spirit: generosity, curiosity, and education in a multicultural world.

Thank you the Senegirlz for sharing your adventure with us and with the  Bergen Field Daily Voice here!

Our Pre-K3 class welcomed their parents in their classroom for a very special breakfast!

Our young cooks baked no less than four different cakes for their families to taste and enjoy along with some coffee. They also had the chance to show their “cahier” with all the hard work accomplished in class over the last few months. But the best part of the morning was when all the children played their part in “Les trois petits cochons”* with confidence and eloquence. We were scared as if the wolf was among us and happy and relieved when all ended well! The children vividly showed their progress in oral language and memorization skills. So impressive for such young students!

*”The Three Little Pigs

-Jersey City Campus

 
In honor of National Dental Month, we welcome not only one but two dentists in our Prek-K classrooms. During their visit, our students were exposed to new vocabulary, information and interesting kid friendly facts about teeth and dental hygiene. We also got to read a Dr. Seuss Story, The Big Tooth, in honor of Dr. Seuss’ 110th Birthday.
Students were able to watch a PowerPoint created by the dentist, showcasing interesting information that was educational to the students. Afterwards we learned the proper way to brush and floss, with the help of a stuffed dinosaur named Wilber. To review, students then played two games. A sorting game where students had to decide if things were “good or not good” for their teeth and stick pictures to a magnetic tooth board.  And finally, students were asked to pull plastic food pieces out of a bag and vote “thumbs up or thumbs down” to good and bad foods for us.  We thank Ms Christina, our Kindergarten English Teacher for this fun and educational morning!
 
     –  Jersey City Campus
 

4th & 5th graders have been working on narrative writing through Writers Workshop. Students wrote personal narrative in French and legends in English. Enjoy reading their stories!

Click on the link :https://madmagz.com/magazine/989908

-New Milford Campus

In continuity with their Science research on ecological houses, 3rd and 4th graders went downtown Manhattan to visit the Skyscraper Museum.

Last week, our Art Teacher, Claudine Parloff was awarded Les Palmes Academiques by Benedicte de Montlaur at the French Consulate in New York.
This distinction rewards Claudine’s lifetime commitment to education.
Claudine has been associated to the French American Academy since its inception in 2007.
Through Claudine’s award The French American Academy as a whole is honored.
We want to congratulate Claudine Parloff and express our deepest gratitude to her for being part of our team.
 
 
 
 
Our Pre-K4 have just published their first magazine telling us all about apples, pumpkins and the science experiments they went through in the past weeks.