Marie Emmanuela Fandal was born in Labadee, Haiti on December 25, 1950, and raised in Jacmel. As a student, she excelled in languages; eventually becoming fluent in Haitian-Creole, French, English, and Spanish. After completing her post-secondary education, she taught elementary school for several years before immigrating to the US. She settled in Miami, Florida, where she met George Alfred.
Marie and George married in 1977 and had eight children. Marie was a passionate educator who taught all of her children how to read, count, and add before they enrolled in school; helping them get off to a head start. Throughout their formative years, she read short stories and poems with them every night helping them foster a love for reading. She also assisted them, and other children in the neighborhood, with their homework and encouraged them to complete more than the minimum requirements. Marie believed strongly in the value of education and instilled these values in her children. Three of her children have followed in her footsteps, teaching at the K-12 and post-secondary level.
She passed on April 25, 2015. Marie's Kids was founded three years later in April 2018 and named in her honor.