French Immersion Program Popping Up in South Slope

Friend of the blog, Jean-Cosme Delaloye is quoted in this post from the South Brooklyn Post Blog about the new French Immersion Program for PS 133. 

Here is an excerpt from the post, to read the full article go here.

An open house will be held at the school on Nov. 19 at 9 a.m. for interested parents.

PS 133’s program will be modeled after the French immersion program at PS 58, which has grown since it launched in 2007.

The new program will launch thanks to a remarkable effort by PS 133’s principal and a group of local parents, lead by French journalist Jean-Cosme Delaloye and parent Brooke Toomey.

The push to start a second French immersion program in the South Brooklyn area started in June.  Parents were worried that it would be impossible to get into the French program at PS 58 from out-of-zone, because the program has grown so popular, said Delaloye, the father of a preschooler at PS 133. Rumor has it that PS 58 gets inquiries from parents in France and other French speaking countries about the program, and real estate agents have said that many French families will only consider apartments within the PS 58 zone.

“A lot of parents were getting anxious,” said Delaloye. “The demand for the program is extreme.”

So Delaloye, who lives on 4th Ave., decided to take matters into his own hands.

“When Danielle (Jean-Cosme’s wife) and I got the letter that Léon would start pre-K at 133, we started researching that school. We realized that Ms. Foster-Mann (the principal) and her team had turned this school around in the past three years, but somehow the word was not getting out in the community.”

A newly refurbished building is under construction for PS 133, at 4th Ave. and Baltic Streets, and is slated for completion in September 2012.

“I told the principal about the French program and she loved the idea,” Delaloye said.

The program began in a test basis in September with a French after-school program for preschoolers. Some 15 kids enrolled in the program, half French and half not.

“We launched the after school in September with an innovative model: French parents basically financed the after-school for non-native children from the school to help them learn French. The program is a big success,” Delaloye said.