Friday, August 14, 2015

Les enfants à Paris

"Paris Plages" transforming Paris
into a series of themed beaches
New York City encourages children to take a cultural bite out of The Big Apple but offerings in The City of Lights (La Ville-Lumiére) shine just as brightly. 

I was first struck by this as I strolled along the right bank of the Seine River and stumbled upon the inviting golden sand and blue umbrellas of the annual summer event, Paris Plages (Paris Beach). 

Children can frolic in the floating pool while enjoying live music or lounge on a beach chair with a book from the mobile library. We also witnessed bike safety lessons for the wee ones, pet stations/stops and booths selling food, beverages and trinkets.  

Later, I entered the Place du Carrousel located near the open end of the courtyard of the Musée du Louvre.  Nestled within the covered arches before the Rue de Rivoli were framed posters promoting "Les Ateliers Enfants".

This program resembles those of my beloved Met Museum with tours and activities to spark an interest in French culture, art and history.

La Petite Academie, Paris
At every turn I saw child-centered activities peeking out from windows and doorways (La Petite Academie, P'tit Vélib') or advertised on billboards (Les Minions!, Vice-Versa - the French title for Pixar's Inside Out - and the newly released Le Petit Prince).

It made me think that early childhood educators in Paris had it pretty good too.

When I returned home I discovered a blog posting about taking a group of children to visit museums and landmarks in Paris.  The photographs of children eating lunch and posing in front of The Eiffel Tower and the Louvre is reminiscent of the class pictures I took of my students outside The Statue of Liberty and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The post even includes some children's drawings.

I may have found my Parisian counterpart and definitely see new experiences unfolding in my future. There must be openings at the Institut National de Jeunes Sourds de Paris.


Steve Reed said...

Ah, Paris! Et tu parles Francais maintenant, non? Donc tu peux travailler dans une ecole Francaise!

Gary said...

At the moment my French is not very good - not very good at all. However, I have a goal and am working on it daily. The frustrating part is that I cannot speed things along or force myself to gain large chunks in an instant. I have to keep the perspective that kept me going as I wrote my dissertation - "One bird at a time" (take it bit by bit). Evidently you are doing well though. Yay!

Steve Reed said...

The important thing is, you're in a place where you can really practice, and that makes all the difference. I'm studying French in books, but that doesn't necessarily translate into being able to speak it on the fly! (Gotta get to Paris more often!)


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