News de Nous – 2/14/20

February 14, 2020
Dough Your Best !
OK, some puns are a stretch but we felt we kneaded to give it a try. Giving new things a try is always a recurring theme in our classrooms, as you’ll see in more detail below; we also welcomed two new interns, we are adding two new after school clubs and we recap an inspiring visit from Bushido Karate Academy.
Plus, highlights of yesterday’s Suzuki concert, a crêpe truck sighting, Camp FASTB enrollment is open, and so is school enrollment for 2020-21! These stories and more in this week’s News de Nous…
Bushido Karate Message – Develop Self-Discipline
Big thank you to Sensei Alaia and Sensei Little from Bushido Karate Academy for their inspiring and fun presentation to our K-8 students Wednesday. Sensei Alaia stressed the importance of self-discipline to both our younger and older students – “doing what you are supposed to do without having to be told.”
Then each group had to opportunity to get active, breaking boards, punching the pads (and ducking when needed). Teachers Magali and Emmy also joined in as you’ll see in the photo and video highlights below…
Breaking Board-Bushido Academy visits FASTB Part 2
(Click image above to see the video)
Quick Hitters-Bushido Academy Visits FASTB
Breaking Board-Bushido Academy visits FASTB Part 3
If you’re interested in finding out more about Bushido Academy, you can visit their website or call 727-541-3340. Merci beaucoup, Sensei’s Alaia et Little !
Suzuki Strings and Keys On Display
The second trimester of Suzuki music lessons came to a close yesterday with a performance by our students. A mix of violin and piano pieces put the students’ progress on display to the delight of the crowd – a couple video highlights are below. Thank you to Miss Jenny for all of the time and effort she puts in, both in individual and group lessons, inspiring the children to practice and enjoy playing. Thank you also to the parents and students for their hard work – bravo!
Suzuki Concert-2nd Trimester Performance
Suzuki Concert-2nd Trimester Performance
Leap Day is Crêpe Day
We are excited to welcome back the Krepelicious crêpe truck to FASTB for a family fun day on Saturday, February 29, Leap Day, from 10am-Noon. The event is open to the public so all are welcome to partake in the festivities. More details to follow but we will have lots of activities for the children – Leap Day only rolls around every four years, so it’s a good day to try something you don’t do every day, like getting your face painted, or learning some French!
Please visit our Event page for more information – we hope to see you there!
En Classe – Hands On Learning & Fun
Our quick tour around the classes begins with a continued discussion of gardening in our Kindergarten class. You’ll recall that our students previously planted vegetables in our new outdoor garden – this week, Magali’s class planted seeds in small containers, learning how to properly care for them and allow them to grow. They also discovered some aromatic plants, and experienced some interesting scents!
There’s something about dough – when you hold it, you can’t help but smile! That was the case for Erika and her preschoolers as they learned the recipe for salt dough, plus all of the associated vocabulary. Students used the dough to eventually form letters (below)…
…then Pauline took the creations home and baked them – not to eat, but to paint!
Olivier took the hands on activities outside as his elementary class, along with our middle schoolers, engaged in a sport activity using a ball – incorporating counting, coordination, communication and teamwork. Not always easy, but they were into it!
Speaking of Emmy’s middle schoolers, they are continuing their media project – you can see the official Star Wars: The French Awakens poster below and next, is the movie trailer. Filming begins today!
Intern Tandem Arrives At FASTB
We are very pleased to have French interns Emilie Bonneau and Alice Meiner, pictured above on the left and right of Olivier Guilhem, joining us for the next month. Both are pursuing Master’s Degrees in Elementary Education at the Université de Bourgogne, and they have already jumped right into FASTB life. Emilie and Alice will be assisting all of our teachers and will have the opportunity to interact with students in the classroom and on the playground.
Please join us in welcoming Alice and Emilie !!
Join The Club – Two New After School Clubs Begin Soon!
FASTB is excited to offer a couple of new after school clubs during our 3rd trimester, for students in grades K and up. The first is an art club focused on modeling – Erika will lead this group, working with different of materials to create a variety of sculptures. The second club will be a radio club, led by Olivier, focusing primarily on student presentation in French, plus learning about production and equipment as well.
If you are interested in your child participating in these 10-week sessions, please click on the image above to download our enrollment form. Merci.
Open House et Soirée: Both Educational & Musical
Thank you to all who dropped by our Open House et Soirée this past week, and special thanks to our parent volunteers and Jenny’s Suzuki Strings musicians, who performed very well, both individually and as a group, throughout the evening. Bravo!
Tour de FASTB
This is a busy and exciting time of year in the admission department – over the last several weeks, we have welcomed many visitors who are very interested in joining our growing FASTB family! If you or someone you know would like to tour and learn more about our school and campus, please feel free to contact us to schedule a private tour. 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!
2020 Florida Scholarships – Renewal Enrollment Open Now
For those currently enrolled in Florida income-based scholarship programs, you can begin the renewal process NOW by going to the Step Up for Students or AAA Scholarship websites (see the links below). For new income-based scholarship applicants, you can sign up here to be notifiedonce the enrollment period begins.
FASTB accepts Florida state scholarships and we are a participating school on the Step Up for Students, AAA Scholarships, Family Empowerment andMcKay Scholarship websites, so when you apply and you are awarded a scholarship, you can opt for our school there.
Please note that there are two income based scholarship offered by the state of Florida: the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and the Family Empowerment Scholarship, which was created just last year. Key points for the FES 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 will definitely be worth filling out the free online FES application to see if you qualify.
The total number of scholarship programs that we will accept in 2019-20 and 2020-21 is 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, Gardiner, Hope Scholarships):
AAA Scholarships (Florida Tax Credit, Gardiner, Hope Scholarships):
Camp FASTB Is Back – Enrollment Is Open
Camp FASTB Year 2 is on the horizon and you can enroll your child today by visiting the camp page on our website. Our French Immersion camp is open to children ages 5 to 12 (must turn 5 as of Sept 1, 2020) and will begin the week of July 6, and run 4 consecutive weeks to the end of the month – you can sign up for 1, 2 , 3 or 4 weeks and we have both full & half day options. Please contact us at (727) 800-2159 if you have any questions – Merci !
Courrier de Floride FASTB Feature Now Online
The February edition of Le Courrier de Floride is out with copies in our lobby for you to peruse. On page 4, you’ll find a terrific feature story about FASTB, written by founder Gwendal Gauthier, who recently interviewed FASTB Head of School, Willy LeBihan, and teachers Olivier & Magali Guilhem, about the progression of our school in year two, as well as the evolution of French education and how it works in our immersion environment.
There is now an online version of the story, which includes many more photos. Click on either of the photos above to access the online version – for those who lean l’anglais, you can view the English translation here.
Thank you to Le Courrier de Floride for this wonderful article !
College Planning Starts Now
Sometimes it’s hard to step back and think about college when you are rushing around to get your 3 or 4 year-old ready for school, but with the ever-rising college tuitions, planning ahead and saving over the long-term is a sound approach.
Theo Desmulier, who hails from Lille, France, is a financial planner with Raymond James, and he will be at FASTB at drop-off time on the morning of Tuesday, February 25th to discuss 529 plans and the saving and tax benefits that they offer. Theo works with many French families here in Florida but his information is for everyone.
2020-21 FASTB Calendar Ready to Download
2020-21 Calendar
2019-20 Calendar
Our FASTB calendar for the 2020-21 school year has been released – you can click on the calendar image on the left above to find out when school starts and ends, and everything else in between. For those living in the present, the 2019-20 calendar is still available and you can click on the image on the right for that. Our Events page is also a good source of what’s up in FASTB land.
Café et Conversation Every Thursday
Great to see parents coming to our Café et Conversation sessions! Each week, a different topic is discussed, involving a teacher, administrator or another program leader. These informal meetups go from 8:30-9:00 every Thursday morning – the upcoming schedule includes:
  • Feb 20: Elementary Class – Olivier
  • Feb 27: Preschool Class – Erika
  • Mar 5: Music & Me – Mr. Alex
  • Mar 12: Kindergarten – Magali
All parents are welcome to attend these sessions, which provide an opportunity to discuss the topic of the week in a relaxed environment – over coffee, of course.
DELF For Advanced High School French Students
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 !
Book Smart? Volunteers Needed to Organize Library
Thank you to all who have donated books to our library this year. We recently received several boxes of French children’s and adult books from generous donors, Sally Maier and Vanessa Bevington – merci à vous deux ! Donations of French or English children’s books are always welcomed, and very much appreciated.
We would love to have some volunteers come in to help organize our library – if you are interested, please contact the school at (727) 800-2159.
French Education Thrives In The US
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.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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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