Before Jason (my husband and board member) and I began our child care services in 2007, we started by looking for a pre-school for our own two children. We began by considering what it was that we wanted. We felt that it was important that our children be exposed to the cultures, languages and experiences of other cultures, as well as their own. As educators, we felt it was essential that instruction was designed to develop a love for learning and discovery. More than anything, we would only send our children to a program in which every staff member truly cared about our child and loved all children. We found programs that tried to do these things, but none seemed to be able to embrace all of the things that we wanted. We also felt the cost of most programs was well-beyond what we could afford. That was when we decided to form our own play-based and cultural immersion (dual language) preschool. We hope that you feel that we have been able to offer the type of program that we wanted for our own children.
After five years of having a home-based daycare, we know that we can offer a better program if we are in a child care center. This will allow us to create a space that is designed especially for our students and will provide the space and resources that our students deserve. The challenge, we felt was to make a center that could provide the same nurturing environment that we have in our own home. We want to form a program that has the same sense of love that I felt when I would walk in to my grandmother’s home….or, la casa de mi abuela.
The space would be one where I learned how to play with my cousin-brothers, or primos and primas-hermanas. I still remember running around abuela’s open-aired indoor patio, or la azotea, and watching her cook with a big smile on her face while she sang popular Mexican songs out loud. The aromas of her traditional Mexican food cuisine filled the air with happiness. She wore a traditional Mexican and hand-woven “cotton & laced” apron for cooking. Los primo-hermanos (brother-cousins)and I used to chase after our family hens in la azotea (roof top), and enjoyed eating fresh chicken mole, with chilachiles. My mother and I used to pluck guayabas (guavas) from the guayabo (or guava trees) growing in our back yard. We also placed a fruit stand right outside our home, and sold guavas to the neighbors and people walking through the neighborhood. My other favorite fruit was the taste of los coyules dipped in brown sugar or el arníbar.
The new center space needs to have the same rich feeling of family, culture and adventure; a place in which children can discover new things, laugh and experience a love for learning. This is a second home where children can feel confident, loved, valued and empowered. Let’s cultivate culture, celebrate tradition, and connect community collectively!
We are very pleased to share with you that we have found a space in which we plan to offer such a culturally rich and dynamic Spanish Immersion child care center program and by the name of Academia de Mi Abuela (or AMA = This is another way of saying “mother”, or “he/she loves” in Spanish.). Although we have just opened our doors for enrollment to the public and as we settle in to the new space, we would like to share this first step with you and bring you with us, as we begin this next big journey together.
We hope that you will join Jason and me in celebrating this new transition and how we may provide your family with an extraordinary child care experience.
We look forward to seeing you at AMA very soon. Adelante y bienvenido!
Cynthia Mendez Reimann,
Academia de Mi Abuela, Owner and Head of School