How did we start FLAM San Diego? Here is our story!

Rachele DeMéo, educator and mother of two children, possesses two Master's (including an M.Ed., specifically in teaching and learning) and has always been passionate about bilingual/multilingual education. Having grown up in a bilingual and multicultural environment, she has since a young age been captivated by different languages and cultures.

A former successful college professor taught French and additionally accompanied students who came from French-speaking families but who found themselves in university courses in FLE (French in a Foreign Language). There, she realized that these students were not following a French course adapted to their needs, that is to say, made for students who already understood and spoke the language.

In parallel, for 3 years, she homeschooled her two boys in addition to her part-time teaching jobs at two different universities. Later, she placed her children in a public American school and at home taught her own children her native French language. Together, they worked on the French curriculum and different programs including the CNED (National Center for Distance Education). However, teaching her children French was her sole responsibility and required a very large investment.

She hoped to work with the Vista Unified School District to open a bilingual immersion school. This project didn't end up working out as she had hoped so she continued her research to find solutions for the numerous families in the region who wanted their children to learn, improve and maintain a good level of French.

At that time, she had the opportunity to meet a woman living near Los Angeles who contacted her to ask her advice to help her start a bilingual immersion school. During their conversation, the name FLAM was mentioned. Rachele then inquired and learned that non-profit associations called FLAM (French as a Mother Tongue) existed all over the United States and around the world, to help French-speaking students (and non-French speaking students) learn the French language and cultures.

However, there was no FLAM school in the San Diego area. This is what inspired her to found FLAM San Diego in October 2019.

FLAM San Diego currently offers French classes and extracurricular activities in our own school, as well as in other schools within Oceanside and Vista, as after-school programs.   

Thanks to Canvas Rebel magazine for this article