On the Upper West Side of Manhattan there is a bilingual preschool called La Escuelita. The school was founded in 2002 by two parents who were also educators. They wanted a bilingual school and play experience for their own children so they started La Escuelita.
The school is open to children ages 2 through 5. La Escuelita offers a bilingual preschool and summer school, an after school for children kindergarten through third grade, and playgroups in Spanish for young children ages 12 months to 6 years. These programs make La Esuelita a unique preschool and playgroup.
The school teaches 2 year olds primarily in Spanish. 3 and 4 year olds are taught in English and Spanish with emphasis on Spanish. Older children get a dual language educational model and La Escuelita serves as a good transitioning school. Children also get a healthy dose of social and emotional learning through language instruction and small classes. The lessons are in Spanish and English, but they are centered around themes, which make learning fun.
Children who do best in the after school program are children who have prior exposure to Spanish. The after school program allows them more opportunities to practice Spanish.
The playgroups provide opportunities for children to socialize in Spanish. This serves as the young child’s first exposure to the bilingual education process.