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Building Renovation

Get to know us

Just six years after the foundation of the Alliance Francaise in Paris, in 1889, Alliance Française de San Francisco (AFSF) was founded as a 501(c)(3) Public Charity Nonprofit, as the Alliance's first US affiliate.

Our San Francisco headquarters were originally at 414 Mason Street. During this time, the Alliance merged with the Bibliothèque Française, the French Library-which had been devastatingly affected by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake-to become what it is today. AFSF now owns the entire collection of French language books that belonged to the Bibliothèque Française, and many more. In 1982, AFSF relocated to our current site, at 1345 Bush Street, in a building owned by La Ligue Henri IV, a local French fraternal organization.

The Alliance Francaise de San Francisco is part of an international organization which aims to promote knowledge and appreciation of French language and culture in various cities around the world. AFSF offers a variety of courses for adults and kids, including group or individual classes, from beginner level to expert level. With 6 sessions of group classes per year, we teach French to 150-200 students per session, and upwards of 900 students a year. In 2015, the AFSF courses were recognized as the best French language classes in the San Francisco Bay Area by CBS.

We also promote the French language among the corporate sector in the City, offering corporate classes as another option for perspective students. In addition, we offer camps and the opportunity to participate in afterschool programs so even the youngest can be immersed in a francophone environment.

    All year long, we offer several events to the Francophile and Francophone community. Since the launch in 2005, we greet a various audience for our popular French movie nights, with 20 to 50 attendees, every Tuesday, in our 74-seat theater. Films are chosen in accordance with our monthly theme. Sometimes, we have the opportunity to show Early Premieres, such as “Back to Burgundy” in 2018.

    We also host in our premises monthly exhibitions and art openings for francophone artists from various countries.

    Each trimester, a bigger event is highlighted, such as: 

    In our location, most of the rooms are used for both educational and cultural purposes:

    What we want to achieve 

    The AFSF wants to reaffirm its position as a proud display of Modern French and as THE cultural and language center of reference for French language in the City of San Francisco.

    The Alliance Française aims to accommodate all individuals, from toddlers to seniors, and offer programs and activities for the different age groups. It is widely agreed that learning a language has a major impact in varying stages of life. 

    By promoting the French language and culture in the Bay Area as well as by reaching more and more people, on many levels, AFSF contributes to the individual and collaborative success stories, here in California, but also in French-speaking countries. 

    Our vision for the future and our challenging projects

      During its 130 years of history, the Alliance Française de San Francisco has overcome many challenges and hard times such as the 1906 earthquake and 2008 financial crisis. We are determined to ensure our sustainability and future by adapting our services to the current socio-cultural and economic environment. 

      In 2018, The Alliance Française de San Francisco saw many changes, including the renewal of  ⅓ of the Board of Directors and the election of a new president. We are planning to regain a major position as a language and cultural center in San Francisco and to significantly attract new students and event attendees and retain their attendance.

      2019 is a milestone in the AFSF history, a shared 130 year-anniversary with the famous Eiffel Tower! To celebrate 130 years of work and community outreach in October 2019, the Alliance Française de San Francisco is launching a major program: “Alliance Française de San Francisco 2019”, to better serve the San Franciscan community and to invest in education.

      Our goal is to transform our premises into the heart of French culture in San Francisco where people will gather, discover, and share their love for the French language and the francophone cultures.

      This program is divided into three axes:


       What we already accomplished :

      Office Painting
      New Lighting Library / Offices / Classrooms
      Library Management - Online Resources & Reorganization
      New Software Management Suite

      Where we still need your support: 

      Part 1 : Classrooms, front desk and offices 

      Total estimated budget: US$ 124

      Impact of this project: 

      Part 2 : Library  

        Project description:This first project aims at transforming our library into a more welcoming, modular, and modern space for our visitors and members. A brighter and healthier space will be created with some renovative work, such as changing the flooring, light fixtures, and by painting the space a light color.
        We also plan on selecting some modern books and on reorganizing the library. We plan on replacing current bookshelves by some movable and thinner bookshelves and adding display racks will allow us to modify the space according to our needs during the week:

        What we want to do :
        Electricity, lightning, painting, linoleum flooring

        Comfortable and modern seats, tables, and reading chairs for adults and kids

        Installation of new modular bookshelves and display racks

        Subscription to informative magazines/ newspapers and purchase of new books (literary prizes). Buying pedagogical games and books to help learning French.

        More resources for kids and teenagers

        Total estimated budget: US$ 124 K 

        Impact of this project: 

        Investing in high quality education:

        What we already accomplished :
        In February 2019, our teacher's salaries for group classes were raised.
        At the same time, our teacher were trained on the use of Synergy 8,  our new school management system, allowing them to send follow up emails to students and improving the communication between the teachers/ the administration and the students.
        We also introduced earlier this year a new progression for beginner and intermediate levels to improve the quality of classes.
        We also opened new classes such as the book club and English pronunciation for French speakers to better serve our community. 
        In June 2019, we implemented an automated placement test. This new test is more detailed with one test in 3 parts per level instead of a unique test with several exercises. It also includes audio comprehension which couldn't be evaluated in our former system.  This new test   gives an immediate level to potential students, increasing our response time and facilitating online registration. 

        Thanks to donations from French-speaking organizations, in March 2019 one of our teachers was able to attend a teacher training in Minneapolis about connected classroom and new tools availible to teach French.  Our Teacher did a presentation to the other teachers in April.  We were also able to send our Acting diretor to the Director's meeting and training focusing on how to preparer and market business classes in May 2019. 

        5 of our teachers and our School coordinator followed a 2 month online course to get acquainted on modern ways to efficiently teach French as a foreign language. 

        We were also able to onboard 3 wonderful teachers to join our experienced staff and bring new skills to their classrooms. 
        We bought some new books and other methods to help our teachers find material in order to prepare the content of their classes and have access to more resources. 

        Where we need your support  :

        We would love to continue offering training to our teachers and add a new person dedicated to creating pedagogical content. 
        We would also need to buy more books for our teachers' library. 

        Total estimated budget: US $ 70K 

        Impact of this project: 

        Technology innovation:

        What we already accomplished :
        In February 2019,  we installed a tablet and a google chromecast in classroom 4 to test the technology.
        As mentioned earlier, we also trained our teachers to use Synergy 8.
        In March 2019, we ordered a new computer for our school coordinator. 

        Where we need your support  :
        The computers in the other classrooms and offices are outdated and need to be replaced. 

        We want to support our teachers in their work and mission. They need to work with reliable technology to use in the classroom. 

        This project aims at replacing all the dated computers in the classrooms with an apple tv device and an iPad. This would allow the teacher to browse the internet as well as share videos and other resources during class.  New computors also make teachers’ work and communications easier with their students and save administrative time. Teachers will be able to directly enter information about attendance, content of the class, and to send homework to students in only a few minutes. We would need to equip every one of our 8 classrooms with one set of these.

        Then we would like to supply computers in the teachers’ room to help teachers prepare for their classes in a more efficient way.

        We would also love to invest in a set of tablets to be booked for a class to do exercises online.
        To develop our exam center activity we would need 5 computers with internet. This way, we would be able to offer more sessions each month for the TCF and our candidates would get their results in a shorter period.
        At the same time, our teachers will need to be trained on the use of this new material and on available ressources online.

        A few computers would also be dedicated to support our administration and library. 

        New printer for plastic membership cards $1,000

        Total estimated budget: US $ 19K 

        Impact of this project: 

        Contact Us

        Alliance Française de San Francisco
        1345 Bush Street | San Francisco, CA 94109
        +1 (415) 775 - 7755

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        Alliance Française de San Francisco is an American Public Charity Nonprofit, tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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