It is widely recommended by educators and professionals to start one’s bilingual journey as early in life as possible. This was the main purpose behind the fairly recent launch of La Petite Ecole, a couple of years ago, that opened its doors to 2 year old toddlers. As the program is only available on our Marin campus, some San Francisco based families choose to enroll in la Petite Ecole in Sausalito. After a year at our sunny and kid-friendly location, most decided to continue on with preschool on that campus, rather than requesting a transfer to the San Francisco primary campus on Ashbury street. Karen, whose son Tom is now in preschool, explains her family’s choice.
LFSF : Karen, could you please introduce your family?
Karen: Our son Tom is 3 years old. He is currently in preschool (in French, “Petite section”) on the Sausalito campus of the LFSF. My husband, Clément, and myself are both French, and we live in San Francisco, in the Marina. Tom started last year in La Petite Ecole.
LFSF : What guided your choice towards LFSF and how did that first year go for Tom?
Karen: We chose LFSF in Sausalito last year because we found the campus really very pleasant when touring it with Mathieu, from the Admissions Office. From our house in the Marina, it truly only takes us 12 minutes to go to school in the morning, and the drive is simply beautiful!
We liked the program designed for 2 year old children, La Petite Ecole and Tom did too! His first year at LFSF was a real joy! Every morning, he ran to his classroom to see his friends and his teachers, Claire and Antoinette, who were amazing. We witnessed Tom learning new things every day, growing, developing in many ways and most importantly, thriving at school!
LFSF : It makes sense to choose the Sausalito campus for the Petite Ecole program, since the program is only available on the Marin campus. Why did you choose to stay this year?
Karen : It is true that this year, for preschool, we could have requested to transfer to the Ashbury campus but we love the Sausalito campus so much that we confirmed Tom's enrollment in Sausalito!
We were seduced by the faculty team, the beauty of the campus and its casual and friendly atmosphere, so we decided to stay! The teachers, the parents, and Elsa, the campus director : everyone is really very nice and welcoming.
LFSF : You decided to invest yourself and your time, and became quite active within the LFSF parent community. Could you briefly give us examples of your involvement?
Karen: I am a Room Parent for my son’s class. As such, I can see first hand and support all the great projects organized by the school, such as their focus on being - and teaching children to be - environmentally conscious!
This is an issue that is important to me on a personal level as I recently launched "Les Parisiennes in SF", a new marketplace of Sustainable Fashion for selling and buying second-hand French brands clothing. I organize Pop-up Events featuring pre-loved brands for women and children and last year, I organized a "Pop-up KIDS event" at the LFSF @Ashbury campus!
This year, on the same token, I proposed to the school leadership to host and organize a "Halloween Costume SWAP" on the elementary campuses. The concept was very simple: children could drop off their old costumes and, on Swap Day, pick one new to them, teaching them the value of recycling. The concept was very popular and I look forward to repeating it next year!
Finally, this year, I am the Sausalito lead for the school’s Parent Association. I think it is very important for parents to get involved and LFSF has many levels of volunteering opportunities to fit the parents' time, skills and interests.