French Diplomat Visits King-Robinson, Embassy to Support French Program

Thursday, March 10, 2011
Christopher Hoffman
                 The French Embassy has agreed to provide support for French language instruction at King-Robinson International Baccalaureate School, and a top consular official today toured the school and discussed with officials the form the assistance will take.
                  King-Robinson, a magnet school serving about 550 students from New Haven and surrounding communities, offers French instruction from pre-kindergarten to 8th grade as part of its international theme.
                 “I am honored and gratified that the French government wants to support French language instruction at King-Robinson,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo said. “Assistance from the embassy will strengthen King-Robinson’s French program, enabling students to understand and appreciate another culture. This gift helps King-Robinson fulfill its goal of educating students to be literate in other cultures and languages.”
     Fabrice Jaumont, education attaché at French Consulate in New York City, visited the school today, observing classes and meeting with school officials to talk about how the embassy can help. Possible assistance includes books and other learning materials.  
     Jaumont said, “For me, it’s brilliant that the school is teaching French so young. That’s the message that we want to convey. Languages should be taught at a young age.”
     The consulate is also seeking to pair King-Robinson with a school in France, allowing students to communicate and learn from one another.
     The embassy learned about King-Robnson’s French program through the McMillan Center for International Center and Area Studies at Yale. The MacMillan Center will provide support for King-Robinson’s French instruction.   
     "We are delighted that Mr. Jaumont is focusing his efforts on this wonderful New Haven public school", said Minjin Hashbat, the MacMillan Center’s director of outreach for Programs in International Educational Resources (PIER). 
     The McMillan Center has hosted the Center for the Teaching of French (CTF) since 2002. CTF is a collaborative effort of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Yale University and the Connecticut State Board of Education to teach French and French culture in Connecticut’s schools.