French immersion school promises new opportunities for students

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Meta Kabukala, 4, is excited to begin her first day of kindergarten.

"I'm looking forward to school," she said.

Rachel, Meta's mother, said her daughter has been looking forward to this day for several weeks.

"Meta is really social, she loves to interact with people, she loves to sing and dance," Rachel said.

And Meta will have plenty of opportunities to do that but in another language. Meta is attending Academie Lafayette, a French immersion school, where students will be taught primarily in French.

"You will have some students like ‘I’m not so sure about that French thing’ and some are more 'I’m so excited, I get to speak a new language.' They get home and say 'I’m bilingual, mommy,'" Amandine Brown, a fifth year teacher at Academie Lafayette, said. ​

That's one reason Whitney Forrest enrolled her five-year-old daughter, Cadence, into the school.

"I felt like if she was fluent in French and English that one day she might even learn Spanish. She can learn all of the languages; there are just so many more opportunities that can open up to her in the future," Forrest said.

"For the majority of my class, I would say by Thanksgiving break they usually understand French very well and they start speaking," Brown said.

And Meta hopes to soon speak fluently to her father and his family in their native tongue. So far, it's safe to say she's already off to a great start.

"Bonjour," she said.

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