Executive Director, Owner
A little bit about myself…
Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in a trilingual family (French, Haitian Creole, and English), learning languages was a “norm” at home. Throughout my youth, we traveled a lot on holidays and lived in different countries such as the Netherlands and Spain where we quickly had to adapt to the cultures and languages. This exposure to the world and languages soon gave me the thirst for learning more and exploring more. Speaking more languages (Deutsche, Spanish) helped me open myself to more people, understand them and integrate myself in their world.
Many years later (over 15 years ago), as a native French speaker, who had lived and traveled around the world, I arrived in New York, the place I consider “home”. I first started a career in international business and art licensing and soon realized my passion was in “giving and teaching”. In 2006, I became a teacher and since then, I have remained a school educator and director. I hold two masters degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University (one in bilingual education, the other, from the Principal Academy, in school building administration.) I have worked and taught curriculum in French, in private and public institutions (LFNY, PS58). I have worked on the administration side as a curriculum advisor and developer, in New York City (NYFACS). I am currently a consultant and student-teacher supervisor for the bilingual department, at Teachers College, Columbia University.
After the birth of my twin sons, and soon after the birth of my third son, I developed the daycare project that is Petits Poussins NY (2013), for children 6 weeks to 3 years old. One year later, Arc En Ciel NY, a bilingual French preschool for children 2 to 5 years old was created (Dec. 2014). My current Project, Petits Poussins Too, brings the best of both of my first projects together. This new location will have both programs: on one side the infant/toddler program and on the other, the preschool program. Our bilingual students will thus be able to have a continuous education in the same environment from 3 months up to 5 years of age!
As a parent, who has traveled the world and who comes from a French educational background, I have always realized the importance of immerging my children in a bilingual and multicultural environment. My children (and the education my parents gave me) inspired me to develop these top quality programs for them and for parents with the same vision.
Operations & Marketing Manager
Part of my studies, I worked for the International department of a Spanish company near Bilbao for 6 months. I also had the opportunity to study in a Chinese university for a month to learn more about the culture and the language. Then, I decided to come to the USA (Westchester, NY) as an ‘Au Pair’ and took care of a 9 months adorable baby girl for over a year. She just turned 9 years old this January … time flies by! Today, I have over 13 years of experience working with children and taking care of them.
I hold a global MBA with a background in International Business from Rider University, Lawrenceville-New Jersey and CEFAM University, Lyon-France. I worked for the past two and a half years for a French web magazine in Manhattan, NY as an Event Manager and Ad Account Executive where I had the privilege to organized the three first Bilingual Education Fairs of New York City. I worked with over 90 bilingual schools representing 12 different languages. Petits Poussins Too was one of them. Today, I am really excited and proud to be part of your family.
Hello! My name is Jesenia Vera. I was born and raised in New York City. I am bilingual (Spanish, English). After graduating High School, I attended a community college and graduated with an Early Childhood Education degree. Soon after, I attended Brooklyn College and completed my bachelors with a degree in Fine Arts.
For over 6 years, I have had the experience working with children of all ages (babies, toddlers, preschool). During my time in college I also had the opportunity to spend some time in NYC’s public schools: I spent a few days a week with children in first and second grade and also with classes that integrated special education. Teaching is my passion; I also have a passion in art. I enjoy spending my free time doing ceramics.
I am very excited to be working at Petits Poussins Too!
My name is Yahaira Zayas. I’m the English teacher for the toddlers here at Petits Poussins Too. I attend Boricua College and I am a mom of two handsome boys, Armani and Camron. I enjoy spending time with my family, attending basketball games for Camron and dance class for Armani. I love cooking, taking long walks in Central Park, visiting art galleries, swimming, arts & crafts and traveling. I enjoy talking like Mickey Mouse and Donald duck to children because I know that it will put a smile on their face.
I have over 10 plus years of experience working in learning centers throughout New York City. I have decided to make early learning my life’s work because I believe a child’s education is the most valuable thing in the world. Knowledge is power and I recognize that the earlier it begins the better for the child. To me the most amazing thing is to be able to witness the students apply the skills that we have taught them. I’m so excited to be a part of the family here at Petits Poussins Too and look forward to all the fun in the future.
Born in France, I had the chance to grow in the beautiful region of Burgundy. In high school I followed a literary course with option in visual arts. Later, I joined the prestigious School of Fine Arts of Bourges. During these four years, I learned a lot about the creative process and I developed my own artistic practice.
With my diploma in hand, I left France to discover North America. I spent 7 beautiful years in Canada. During this time, I studied at Laval University in Quebec City. I graduated with a bachelor’s of education in visual arts and drama for preschool, elementary and high school and a certification to teach French.
My husband and I then moved from Canada to Denver, Colorado. We spent two years there where I had the chance to teach French at Colorado International School and for the French alliance (Alliance Française) in Denver.
My experiences allowed me to acquire a solid understanding of the world of education and develop intervention strategies as well as appropriate and effective teaching and learning materials.
Today, I am happy to welcome your children in my class at Petits Poussins Too!
My name is Oumou Sidibe, I was born in San, Mali, Africa. I’m married and I have 2 daughters. In 2013 I became a New York resident which enable me to do what I love most, work with children. Even though I hold 2 masters degrees, one in Archeology and the other in History, working with children has always been a calling. Having come from a large family, I’m the fifth of 16 children, my experience taking care of kids started early when I was 7 years old ; As my mom fell ill, I became a second mom for my siblings.
When I was studying in Paris, I worked during 4 years with a family taking care of their dyslexic 4 years old son until I got my diploma. The choice I made to work with children is really personal and symbolic, in memory of my little sister I lost dramatically when she was really young.
At Petits Poussins Daycare, it all started two years ago when I called Vanessa and explained to her that I really wanted to work with children, even as a volunteer. Vanessa trusted me, offered me to work with her at the daycare. Throughout that time, I had the opportunity to go through training for care and education of infant/toddler and preschool age children. At the daycare, I wore many hats from heading circle time, developing curriculum and creating activities for the various age groups, to changing diapers and feeding our babies. I am very proud to be following Vanessa in her new project and to be growing with her at Petits Poussins Too. I am utterly delighted to be working with your children and look forward to welcoming them!
Nadine Peppe Bonavita
My name is Nadine Peppe Bonavita and I am passionate about children. I was born in Brazil where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. As a professional there I practiced clinically in both private clinic and hospital settings providing support and psychological assessment to patients of various ages. Back there I was also the co-creator and coordinator of a project called Passos e Prossas that attends children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities.
In New York I had recently earned a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. During my studies I focused on the field of children development and education.
I am very excited to join the after-school team at Petits Poussins Too!
My name is Mélody Leger.
I was born and grew up in France. With a French mother and a Malagasy and Martiniquais father, growing up with different cultures made me want to discover the world and travel.
My first time in NYC was during a high school trip – I was 16. I fell in love with the city and I knew I would come back to live here. But before the big move, I wanted to get my Master’s degree in education and motor skills in France. During that period, I traveled a lot between Europe and the US to visit all the friends I made during my trips.
After graduating, I was lucky enough to get a visa to work in Canada. I spent 3 and a half wonderful years working in a French immersion pre-school in Toronto and this experience convinced me of the importance of a bilingual education!
I am passionate about sports, art, dance and yoga.
I am very excited to join the Petits Poussins Too team and looking forward to meet new students and share my experience and passions with them!
HALIMATOU KABA (HALIMA)
I was born in Senegal, a francophone country in West Africa. My father taught geography and history in Senegal and France, instilling in me a love of learning and interest in teaching from the start.
My family and I moved to Amiens a city in northern France. After graduating from high school I moved to Paris, where I received her bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Nanterre. After moving to New York eleven years ago, I started à family and became certified as a medical Ultrasound Technician, but my love of teaching especially littles ones drew me back to Education.
For five years, I have worked as a nanny and tutor of French in Brooklyn and then became an after-school teacher at the New York French American Charter School while going for a teaching-assistant certification.
It is now with great joy that I join Petits Poussins Too!
My name is John. I am from the East End of Long Island. I grew up in a Polish/English bilingual community. While English is my only language, I have always been interested in learning and experiencing other languages.
I have worked with young children for my entire life. After graduating Saint John’s University with a Bachelor’s degree in Childhood education, I moved to Florida to work in the Club Med Child Care Team. There, I was exposed to Bilingual French/English and Monolingual French children.
After returning to New York, as a certified teacher, I worked in a UPK classroom in Queens for two years. I am currently continuing my education to obtain a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education.
Working with young children is not a job to me. I see it as a passion. I love the look on a little one’s face when they learn a new skill or subject matter. I am excited to share my knowledge with my new students and even learn a new language from them!”
Juleykis “Julie” Baez
Hello! My name is Juleykis Baez. I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. I came to New York 7 years ago with no knowledge of English but now I consider myself to be fluent in both English and Spanish. Since I arrive here I have been working really hard to succeed in my education and that is why I managed to get my Associates Degree in Arts from Hostos Community College and recently my Bachelors in Psychology with a minor in Early Childhood education at Lehman College. As a requirement of some of my classes in college I had the opportunity to visit public schools and learn a little more about the education system from the inside.
I have always been interested in the development of children. I have worked in a family daycare for many years and have been teaching children for over 5 years at the Sunday school where we do endless activities based on previous readings. During my free time I like to dance and visit new places. Now my greatest enthusiasm is working at Petits Poussins Too and being part of your children’s life.
Bilingual Teacher: After-School
Hello! I am a native of Madagascar. I have been residing in New York for over 15 years. I am a proud mother of two sons. I am also one of the founding Assistant teachers of the original Petits Poussins. I currently work at Petits Poussins daycare during the day and am happy to join the Petits Poussins Too team for the after-school. I have extensive experience with children 6 weeks and above. I enjoy reading and doing activities with them. I am looking forward to working with your children!
Bilingual Teacher: After-School
My name is Tsigue Shiferaw. I was born in Bordeaux, France, although of Ethiopian descent. I initially started my professional career in education. From secondary school all the way to my Bachelor in Arts, I often looked after babies as well as work part-time as a school supervisor. This led me to the United Kingdom where I worked as a French Language Assistant (Billericay). This is where I completed a Post Graduate Course in Education where bilingualism was a major focus of the course, leading me to teach Modern Languages (French and Italian) to Middle School students for a couple of years.
I was then able to try another passion of mine: radio, and completed a Master of Arts in Radio production in London, while working for the prestigious BBC World Service, exploring all aspects of this wonderful medium through theory and practice. This gave me the chance to live in Ethiopia for many years and work as a journalist there, covering many children related stories (autism, malnutrition, education to name a few). This is also where my three children were born. Ever since their birth, I focused on teaching them the language I know best: French and they are now bilingual. We all became residents in New York City in 2012. I am very pleased to be working with very young children again in a bilingual environment and be part of the after-school Petits Poussins Too team.