News de Nous – 11/24/19

November 24, 2019
Joyeux Thanksgiving !
 We wish all of our FASTB students, families, staff and friends a very happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday!
 This week we serve up News de Nous with all the fixings and smothered in gravy! Our students were in the spirit of the season as they created some artwork (above) of various kinds to commemorate the upcoming day of thanks, and we all chipped in and did some giving as well with our first FASTB Food Drive – lots of details on the drive and delivery below.
 Plus, recent contacts with French pedagogical leaders and dignitaries, a couple of successful open houses and more – bon appétit !
FASTB Food Drive: Middle Schoolers Take Charge & Deliver
The numbers are in – our first FASTB Food Drive generated enough food to provide 130 meals for hungry families throughout Tampa Bay! Thank you to all of our families for your wonderful donations!
The 7 day food drive benefitted Feeding Tampa Bay, which serves hungry individuals and families in 10 West Central Florida counties. This past Wednesday, after collecting our donations, FASTB middle school students delivered the items to Feeding Tampa Bay (below).
Once the food was handed off, the students and their teacher, Emmy, along with volunteer parent Mauricio Lima, enjoyed a tour of this amazing facility. Our tour guide, Riyza Jose-Morales (below), explained the process of how food comes in and eventually gets distributed (about 300,000 pounds move in and out every day!) with the help of thousands of volunteers who help sort and prepare the food for delivery.
It was an impressive tour and students had plenty of questions for Riyza, who told us that schools often come for 2-3 hour volunteer sessions – sounds like another field trip is on the way!
Not content with delivery and tour, our middle school students decided to share their adventure with the whole school on Friday, putting together a slide show and presentation, en français – it was a school-wide food drive, so it was a great chance for all students to learn more about it! Bravo to Emmy’s students and all who participated in this first FASTB Food Drive!
Artists In All Classes
Plenty of Thanksgiving gifts to go around in our Kindergarten and Preschool classes. Among the items produced by Magali’s Kindergarten group were some pretty bouquets that made their way home Friday (below).
Our preschoolers incorporated cutting, hand painting, gluing and writing into their Thanksgiving creations this week (below)…
…and particularly enjoyed picking out the eyes for their turkey card and the feathers for what they call their “baby turkeys”…
Our 4-year olds also helped their 3-year old classmates put the letters in order to write Joyeux Thanksgiving on their cards – Erika & Pauline were very proud of everyone’s work this week!
Meanwhile, Olivier’s elementary class ventured outside for artistic inspiration – Land Art is a movement dating to the 1960s and 1970s, mostly in the US and England, in which artists use materials of the earth (soil, rocks, vegetation etc) as the tools of their creations.
Elementary students paired up to create some interesting designs in their first land art experience!
French Connections
From Left: Willy LeBihan, FASTB Head of School; Dominique Collado, Pedagogical Project Manager, MLF Monde; FASTB Teachers Emmy Decker and Magali Guilhem
In the past month, we have had numerous encounters with French diplomatic and educational dignitaries – most recently, Dominique Collado, a pedagogical leader from the world headquarters of Mission Laïque Française (MLF) in Paris visited FASTB November 14 & 15 to observe classes and meet one-on-one with our teachers to provide valuable feedback, ideas, guidance and overall support. Mme Collado has extensive worldwide experience and is a tremendous resource for our school. She is very supportive of our mission and impressed with our school and staff.
The Dominique Collado visit was actually the second MLF visit in November – on the 4th & 5th, our new pedagogical advisor from MLF America, Mireille Jullien (above), visited FASTB for the first time, also observing and meeting with our teachers. Mireille is stationed at the MLF America headquarters in Dallas and will return to visit us again this winter. À bientôt Mireille !
And new Consulate General of France in Miami, Laurent Gallissot (tallest in the back row center), recently visited St. Petersburg for the first time since his arrival, attending a reception organized by Jean-Charles Faust, Honorary Consul of France for West Florida. Representatives from universities, French companies and St. Petersburg were present for the event, including FASTB Founders Elizabeth & Willy LeBihan and our favorite gardener and chef, Emmanuel Roux (far left).
Open Houses Welcome New Visitors
Our extended care students added a nice extra touch – a big bienvenue sign – to welcome visitors to our open houses this past week. Thank you to all who were able to attend. For those who could not make it, please feel free to reach out to set up a private tour – you can call the school at 727-800-2159 or email Merci !
Photo Retakes Complete
We completed the photo retakes Thursday and also received word that the first round photo packages are expected to be ready the first week we are back in session. We are also working to expedite the retakes and hope to have a timeline for those soon.
FASTB Calendar A Click Away
You can click on the image below to download our school calendar and, as always, be sure to check the Events tab on periodically for more specific information on certain events. Merci !
Enrollment ABC’s
Whether you are looking ahead to the 2020-21 school year or still considering 2019-20, please contact us so we can help you through the enrollment process. You can give us a call at (727) 800-2159 or email
Below is the sequence of steps to apply and enroll at FASTB:
  1. Inquiry: Submit the Application Inquiry Form on our web site and we will contact you to set up a school visit to give you more information about FASTB and answer questions
  2. Apply: Click here for our online Enrollment Application which offers the convenience of applying and paying the fee entirely online
  3. Interview: After receiving the completed application we set up a parent or guardian and child interview to assess readiness and ability to benefit from our program
  4. Acceptance & Enrollment: Upon acceptance, an Enrollment Contract must be signed and deposit paid to secure a spot for the upcoming year
Please visit and click on the Admission tab for more on the process, tuition, financial aid and more – we look forward to hearing from you!
Apply for Florida Scholarships, Grades K & Up
FASTB accepts Florida state scholarships and we are now listed as a participating school on the Step Up for Students, AAA Scholarships and McKay Scholarship websites, so if you have already applied and have been awarded a scholarship, you can opt for our school there.
Please note, too, that there is now a second income based scholarship offered by the state of Florida: the Family Empowerment Scholarship, which will also be administered by Step Up for Students. Key points for this scholarship are:
  1. For students currently in public schools OR students entering Kindergarten
  2. Income thresholds are higher than those in the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship
If you meet the criteria in the first item above, it is definitely worth filling out the free online application to see if you qualify.
This brings the number of scholarships that we will accept in 2019-20 to five:
  1. Florida Tax Credit
  2. Family Empowerment
  3. McKay
  4. Gardiner
  5. Hope
Here are the links:
Step Up For Students (Florida Tax Credit, Family Empowerment, Gardiner, Hope Scholarships):
AAA Scholarships (Florida Tax Credit, Family Empowerment, Gardiner, Hope Scholarships):
Calling All High School French Scholars
We are offering after school advanced French classes for high school students, who wish to pursue a greater proficiency in the language. The Diplôme d’Etudes de Langue Française (DELF) is a certification of French language abilities for non-native speakers, administered by the International Centre for French Studies for the French Ministry of Education.
The program includes six different units (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2), with each leading to an exam and, if passed, a French diploma. The last levels of the program can give access to French universities without having to take another proficiency test before enrolling. US colleges also recognize the value of these diplomas and they are also be very valuable professionally as proof of fluency in French.
If you or someone you know might be interested in this program, please contact the school. You can visit our DELF page for more information or click here to view the brochure pdf. Merci !
Nouvelle Bibliothèque – Donations Accepted
If you haven’t had a chance yet, please stop by and see our beautiful new library! Over the summer, we acquired over 2,000 books that reside on our brand new shelves and we are very pleased to be able to provide both French & English books for our students to utilize in school or borrow to take home.
Even with that many books, we still have some room to add on – if you have any children’s books, in French or English, that you would like to donate, we would gladly accept them for our library. Please contact us at the school (727-800-2159) to arrange to drop them off. Thank you in advance for your help!
French Education Thrives In The US
In case you missed it, click the image above and check out a terrific article in France-Amérique about the success of French schools in the US. If you’re especially ambitious, there is also a link within the story to another fascinating article by Fabrice Jaumont about the benefits and relevance of being bilingual. Many of the points in these articles reinforce the foundation of our mission here at FASTB.
Bonne Action de Grâce !
2100 62nd Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33702
Telephone: (727) 800-2159
Dan Hannigan: School Director
Elizabeth LeBihan: Founder and Admission Director
Willy LeBihan: Founder and Head of School
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