Slug: French Fundraising
Source: NY Times
Summary: French Embassy cultural division officials and its nonprofit partner FACE (French American Cultural Exchange) are raising $2.8 million to help support the expansion of the French dual-language program in NYC public schools. Their 5-year goals from this campaign include continuing to provide bilingual (English and French) education from kindergarten through grade 12 and increasing enrollment to 7,000 students. Currently, 1000 students in 8 public schools are involved in this program.
- Government Relations (primary)
- Community Relations (secondary)
Good or Bad PR? Good PR
Harmony or Discord? Harmony
The French government is interested in promoting its language and customs through education and this dual-language public school program is a smart way to do it: Not only are they able to command loyalty from a new generation of students growing-up well-versed in their language and customs, they can also create/maintain strong economic, political and cultural ties by promoting tourism/cultural exchanges or immersion programs.
The embassy (cultural division) and FACE are just responding to demand from New Yorkers for their children to be educated in a culture and language they deem useful for travel/leisure, educational or career prospects and/or cognitive development. It helps that “seven groups of parents in different areas of the city [are] lobbying their schools to participate” because this increases their manpower and program reach. In effect, the French are helping themselves and Americans who want to help themselves (through their kids learning French); this is a win-win situation and an amazing way to garner support for the advancement of French interests/investments outside of France.