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8th Graders Communicate Across Hemispheres
Posted 11/24/2015 09:34AM

Seven thousand miles weren't enough to keep our students from communicating with young Syrian photographers currently refuged in Jordan, thanks to a project called SF Portals. The group Shared Spaces set up numerous portals throughout the city, one of which is right in our Hayes Valley neighborhood, connecting participants to similar portals from other parts of the world, including Afghanistan, Mexico, and Honduras. Carrie Denning, who helped create the project, noted: “The idea of the portal is we create this kind of Narnia door... That’s always existed in people’s minds—this wormhole to a distant land.”

This video conversation was part of a larger project that aimed to raise awareness and funds for Syrian refugees. Under the guidance of Histoire-Géographie teacher Mouna Harifi and Director of Student Life Leslie Adams, 8th grade students researched the conflict in Syria and what students here at French American could do to help. "I felt that people needed to know about it more," said 8th grader Annabel Menendez. "A lot of kids didn't know much about the crisis before this year."

In October, a representative of the International Rescue Committee visited campus to discuss the refugee crisis with students in both middle and high school. Through bake sales and penny drives that began earlier this year, students raised nearly $1,000 to donate to the IRC and benefit Syrian refugees. "This school is all about being in contact with others in the world, whether they're in crisis or not," said 8th grader Ylva Bosemark. "The fact that we communicated and were able to help people across the globe really fits in with what we're taught here."

The students also presented their project at the Global Issues Network conference, and educated their peers about the crisis during an assembly with the entire middle school.

View NBC's coverage of the interaction and cameos by our students.


"Research shows that younger children have a superior ability to learn a second language and that bilingual students tend to outperform their monolingual peers."

Admission Information

Visit our admissions section to learn about our bilingual immersion in the lower and middle school. Or visit our high school to learn about the French Bac or IB program.

Global Travel

Many cultural and linguistic trips as well as student exchanges are offered each year. Learn more

Academic Roadmap

The school delivers a rigorous bilingual immersion program from PK3 to grade 8, culminating in either the French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate program in its International High School.

The Bilingual Advantage

The bilingual education program of the French American International School provides our students with a springboard for a global perspective. The curriculum is taught in English and French in a way that makes learning exciting and challenging, while meeting the high standards of the French and American educational systems.

French American International School

Main building

150 Oak Street

San Francisco, CA 94102

Ph: 415.558.2000


Early Childhood Center

1155 Page Street

San Francisco, CA 94117

Ph: 415.231.5733

An independent Pre-K through 12th grade co-educational day school in the heart of San Francisco. The school delivers a rigorous bilingual (French/English) immersion program through middle school, culminating in either the French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate program in its International High School.

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