Philadelphia's First Spanish Immersion Preschool is Coming in January 2015 - Generocity Philly

Oct. 13, 2014 11:50 am

Philadelphia’s First Spanish Immersion Preschool is Coming in January 2015

Melissa Page’s students were struggling with learning a new language at the magnet school where she taught Spanish and French in Philadelphia. “[My students] were getting so frustrated that they just didn’t have any kind of language ability–they were frustrated that they were doing something so foreign and different and I wanted to change that,” […]

Melissa Page’s students were struggling with learning a new language at the magnet school where she taught Spanish and French in Philadelphia.

“[My students] were getting so frustrated that they just didn’t have any kind of language ability–they were frustrated that they were doing something so foreign and different and I wanted to change that,” Page said.

She added that, for the most part, language programs tend to start at a later age in the public school system in the city, so her students in 7th to 11th grade were learning a new language for the first time.

Page herself starting learning Spanish (while she was raised in Texas) when she was four years old, and is now fluent in Spanish.

“I just think that having exposure at the early age is really, really crucial to your later language development,” she said.

Now after four and a half years teaching in Philadelphia’s public school system, she’s resigned from her teaching job with plans to open a Spanish Immersion Preschool, Mi Casita, in Fairmount in January 2015. The 4600-square-foot location will include a kitchen, library, and a variety of rooms for learning and playing. The space is close to three parks: Clemente Park and Playground, Spring Garden Community Gardens, and Francisville Playground.

Page noted that part of the reason she planned to open a preschool was because of the demand, as well as the need, for Pre-K in Philadelphia and the lack of a Spanish immersion program in the city.

“There are actually about 2000 different types of immersion programs across the country, and its kind of strange that Philly doesn’t have a Spanish Immersion Preschool yet,” she said. She added that she has worked with a preschool in Texas to help develop the curriculum.

When the school opens in January 2015, Page hopes to have about 30 students, between the ages of 18 months through four years old enrolled, about half of her goal capacity of 60, so she can develop a strong culture and community. She said she expects to enroll 60 students in fall 2015. Page is also working on developing an after school program for older children.

For parents interested in the program, Page will be holding two information sessions on October 15, 6:30-8 p.m. at the Fairmount Art Center and November 3, 5-7 p.m. at the Wardrobe Boutique.

From our Partners

“I will be going over curriculum and why it’s important to be bilingual, why it’s important to start this process now, what an average day would look like, and also I’ll be there to answer any questions about meeting the staff,” Page said. “We’re also going to be doing a lot of what’s called project-based learning, so I’ll be explaining that as well.”

Editor’s Note: It’s been brought to attention that similar projects do exist in the city, such as the Norris Square Community Alliance’s Head Start Program and  Asociacion Puertorriquenos en Marcha. Know of another similar program or have another idea for a story? Let us know at news@generocity.org!

-30-
VIEW COMMENTS

From our Partners

Opinion: We have a duty to protect our children from spikes in RSV cases

APM pivots to virtual early education in response to COVID-19

Power Moves: Cynthia Figueroa appointed to lead City’s new Office of Children and Families

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

Meet Kim Andrews, new executive director for The Fund for Women and Girls

Philadelphia

Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project (YSRP)

Mitigation Specialist

Apply Now
Philadelphia

Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project (YSRP)

Director of Development and Communications

Apply Now
915 Spring Garden Street, Ste 103, Philadelphia, PA 19123

Vetri Community Partnership

Chief Operating Officer

Apply Now

Kids count: Report shows PA’s progress in helping children

6 Key Topics to Read Up on Before May 19

Pre-K for PA’s Push for Expanded Early Education Makes Headway

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

Be the leader to bring a 26-year mission into the future in Chester County

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting

Deputy General Secretary (DGS)

Apply Now
Philadelphia

Fairmount Ventures Inc

Associate

Apply Now
Philadelphia

The Village of Arts and Humanities

Executive Director

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Generocity