Diana Limongi: Bringing French to Astoria!

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This week’s Human of the Week is Diana Limongi, who is working tirelessly to bring a French Dual Language Program to Astoria elementary schools!

What is a dual language program?

A dual language program is when 50% of the week is taught in one language, and 50% of the week is taught in another. So with this program, half the week would be in French, and half in English.

What made you want to start a French dual language program?

My husband is French, and I found that there weren’t really any options for my son to learn French. He’ll be starting kindergarten in 2015, and I wanted him to have a chance to learn, along with other students in Astoria.

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Where would the program take place?

The program would be housed in a public school – so it would be free.

Are there other programs like it in Queens?

There are about two dual language programs in Queens, and they’re both in Spanish. Manhattan and Brooklyn have French dual language programs in their public schools – but I love Astoria and wouldn’t want to move there! There’s also programs in private schools, but they can cost thousands of dollars. Bringing the program to Astoria would make it affordable for parents who can’t send their children to schools in Brooklyn or the Upper West Side.

This program has been attempted before; do you think it’ll be accepted this time?

Last time, there weren’t enough families involved. After meeting with the Superintendent of District 30, we were told we needed at least 30 families on board. We’re almost at that goal, and so I think this time it will really work.

How would the program work?

Well, it would start in 2015 with just a kindergarten class. When they move on to first grade, so would the program, and a new batch of kindergarteners would start from the beginning. So as the first class moves forward, so does the new level of teaching, until the program is fully implemented from kindergarten to fifth grade.

How many students do you have currently signed up for the program?

Here are the numbers, based on the year each student was born:

2009 – 20

2010- 22

2011- 17

2012 – 22

2013 – 23

How can local parents get involved and make the program be implemented?

If they’re interested, parents can fill out this questionnaire, or follow us on Facebook for more information!

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Diana and her son, who inspired her to start the French Dual Language Program