2013 marked the 70th anniversary of the publication of Le Petit Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944). In the wake of this celebration, the French Heritage Language Program, in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, the Succession Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, organizes a writing contest on human rights, children’s rights and Le Petit Prince, for all its high school students in New York City. The contest will be held from Feb. 3 to March 20, and the 1st prize will be awarded during The Little Prince Day at the New York Public Library on March 28.

Le Petit Prince is both the most read and most translated book in the French language. It has sold over 140 million copies and has been translated in 250 languages and dialects. Read in schools from Timbuktu to Shanghai and New York City, it is at once a popular masterpiece and an international literary reference that embodies values of respect and tolerance for other cultures. The Little Prince is also used by the United Nations to promote human rights and was even appointed ambassador for the Know Your Rights campaign aimed at making children better informed about their rights.

As we enter Black History Month and celebrate the fight for equality and freedom led by Marthin Luther King and Black Americans in the United States, February and March, the month of Francophonie, offer a great occasion to (re)discover Saint-Exupéry’s humanist work and remember that “the most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”

More about Saint-Exupéry in New York:

The Little Prince: A New York Story” exhibition runs through April 27 at the Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Avenue, at 36th Street;

About us:

The French Heritage Language Program is an education program of FACE (French American Cultural Exchange) which offers free French classes to underserved public schools and community centers across the United States. All of our students are English Language Learners from West Africa and Haiti who recently immigrated to the United States. The objective of the program is to help these students keep strong bonds with their heritage language and cultures, reinforce their literacy in the home language to accelerate their acquisition of English, and facilitate their integration at school and in the professional world.