Three years have flown by since the current 2019 French Dual Language Program students entered Lafayette Academy with wide eyes, big goals, and an appetite to learn. It was September 2016 when the school welcomed this diverse, energetic, and ambitious group of young people to its unique learning environment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Over the past three years, Lafayette Academy's French Dual Language students have traveled the world from their classrooms, viewing history through both French and American lenses. From stories of the pharaohs in ancient Egypt, to in-depth analysis of world religions; from studies of racial and cultural inequalities around the world, to the dramatic stories of French collaboration in the American Revolution, the French Dual Language graduating class has experienced world history in a bilingual learning environment. They have traveled to Philadelphia to experience our shared histories and walk in the footsteps of such famous Americans as Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and George Washington, as well as the school's very own French namesake, and American compatriot, the Marquis de Lafayette; all the while, continuing to perfect their French Language Arts skills, confirming their membership as multilingual citizens of the world.
When asked to sum up their experiences as students in Lafayette Academy’s French Dual Language Program, one student quote by Khadija stands out -- “In the past three years, the French Dual Language Program has given me huge advantages, and I can say that I will continue to study French as I grow older because of this school. I had so much fun in the past three years. I remember coming into this school a shy, insecure girl; but now I am a confident 8th grader and I will always thank this school because of it.”
On the eve of Lafayette Academy’s 5th French Dual Language Program graduating class, Principal Brian Zager shares, “We couldn’t be more proud of our French Dual Language Program graduates! Let this be a lesson for all -- whatever barriers society puts on us can easily be broken down when children come together united through language and culture.” At Lafayette Academy, it is part of the school's mission to enrich the lives of all students through multilingualism and multiculturalism, opening the wonders of our world to each and everyone. The graduating class had received offers to attend some of the top high schools that the New York City Department of Education has to offer including specialized high schools, Bard, Beacon, NYC iSchool, Museum School, and many others.