Graduation of Students of PS 110 & PS 133

June 22, 2017 | By French Culture

On June 20, Deputy Cultural Counselor Thomas Michelon gave a commencement address at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York on the occasion of the graduation of the students participating in PS 110 and PS 133's French Dual Language Program. He praised the hard work and dedication of both the teachers and students and encouraged the students to continue their studies in French.


Thank you Fabrice for this introduction. Hello everyone!

Today marks a very important moment indeed. We celebrate the first graduating class in PS 110 and PS 133’s French Dual Language Program. Both schools started their program 6 years ago, and we are fortunate to have here with us today the founding educators, the founding parents, the founding Principals, and the founding students!

Today, we celebrate the belief that multilingualism is key to a successful 21st century education. A bilingual education is the best gift you can offer your children. By mastering both French and English at such a high level, students are given not one but two passports to the world.

All of you students now possess the ability to learn other languages more easily, to assess the world with multiple perspectives, to understand others and to apprehend the challenges that tomorrow will bring. You have opened yourselves to a number of new possibilities.

This reminds me of the lyrics of a song from one of my favorite movies of last year: Moana

“See the line where the sky meets the sea?

It calls me

And no one knows

How far it goes

If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me

One day I’ll know

How far I’ll go”

The wind is your teachers; the sea is your bilingual education.

This song has a clear message behind it, continue to sail on the sea of knowledge as the wind of bilingualism pushes you forth onto new adventures. 

So I want to congratulate everyone for what you have accomplished. You are the heirs and defenders of the French Bilingual Revolution. You’re an example for numerous students to come, who’ll follow the path you have widened for them.

For us at the French Embassy, creating these opportunities for all children has become so central to our mission that we have created a new fund to support more schools in the United States, and encourage others to embrace this education. In New York alone, there are 22,000 children who speak French at home. This is enough to open 60 new schools!

Thanks to the dedication of students, parents, teachers and principals, we’ve been able to prove that this education is the best education. Together, we’ve created a strong community, one that cares for the future of our public schools. Thanks to our joint efforts, our dual language programs now serve over 1500 students in 10 New York City schools. And we plan to open many more in the years to come, as Fabrice keeps on reminding me!

So I want to thank you, teachers, principals, parents and students, for making all of this possible. Without you, none of these programs would have ever existed. So let’s keep going together. Continuons ensemble !