New York City has long been a home for people from cultures and countries all over the world. For francophiles, the French Institute Alliance Francaise is a home of French culture. Now they have a preschool, and they’ll be at the New York Baby Show on May 14 and 15, at Pier 92.
The nation’s biggest show for expectant and new families, the New York Baby Show is a wonderful family-friendly mega-event featuring everything to do with maternity, baby, and toddler. From top products to trusted parenting experts, the New York Baby Show welcomes thousands of expectant and new parents from New York City, the Tri-State area, and beyond!
Tickets to the New York Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual.
We spoke with the FIAF’s Michelle Kiefer to learn more about the organization.
For someone unfamiliar with FIAF, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings?
The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) is an American nonprofit organization and New York’s premier destination for French language and culture. FIAF’s mission is to create innovative programs in education and the arts that explore the diversity and richness of French cultures.
FIAF’s programs for children include French classes for toddlers, kids, and teens; spring and summer day camps, and the FIAF Preschool, a French immersion preschool for ages 3 – 4. Our cultural events for children include the brand-new Tilt Kids Festival and ongoing Family Saturdays.
What is the background of FIAF? When was it started and how has it evolved since then?
Founded at the turn of the 20th century, the French Institute and the Alliance Française de New York were two separate organizations, the first promoting French arts, the second teaching French. In 1971 they merged to form the French Institute Alliance Française.
Today, the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) is a leading cultural center and the largest French language school dedicated to teaching French in the tri-state area. FIAF’s Language Center offers French courses for all ages and levels, as well as private tutoring, corporate classes, and workshops.
The FIAF Preschool program was launched in 2012, born out of FIAF’s focus on inspiring children to love and learn French. The FIAF Preschool combines the best of French and American teaching methods within a rich, multicultural environment. All activities at the preschool are taught in French for total immersion in the language. With its focus on language acquisition and academic excellence, the FIAF Preschool prepares toddlers to be bilingual by the end of their second year in the program, and to meet the high academic standards of top K-12 schools.
What are the most popular and/or newest events or services that FIAF offers?
Our children’s programs are growing rapidly as parents realize the importance of teaching children a foreign language from an early age. Also starting in September 2016, the FIAF Preschool will expand to include new full-day options. This year, FIAF has also launched the Tilt Kids Festival, featuring a variety of experimental and cutting-edge work destined to make children see the world from exciting new angles.
What sets FIAF apart from other French-themed cultural centers?
Our programs for children are more than just a playgroup – they’re total immersion in the French language, with a structured, multi-sensory curriculum geared toward helping children develop according to their individual learning style. Additionally, FIAF’s depth of offerings outside of the classroom allows families to experience the best of French culture here in New York, from monthly FIAF Family Saturdays, CinéKids film screenings, or weekly story hours in the Haskell Library.
What can parents expect to see from FIAF at the New York Baby Show?
You’ll be able to learn more about our French immersion preschool as well as our French classes for children. FIAF’s Director of Preschool & Youth Programs, Anne Bellec, will be there to answer all of your questions.
To learn more, check out fiaf.org