Academia de Mi Abuela
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- Academia de Mi Abuela was formerly known as Pumpkin Patch Learning Academy, a home-based daycare. license # 013419204
Acadamia de Mi Abuela in Montclair is a great option for those seeking a Spanish immersion preschool. Their teachers are warm, kind and engaging. Dance and music are a focus and they bring in talented people from the community to offer classes in Latin percussion and dance as well as soccer - the kids enjoy showing off their skills in each of these areas for parents at seasonal community events hosted by the school. The student body is very diverse and reflective of Oakland and its many types of families. Tricia
AMA is wonderful! My two year old started at AMA in July of 2013. We were a little apprehensive about her starting at a new center, concerned that it would be a difficult transition. It took her several months for her to adapt to her previous child care center and she never really was happy to be there. The warmth of the teachers at AMA made my daughter feel comfortable immediately. Within a week, she was excited to ''go to school'' everyday and at pick up she didn't want to leave. We love that AMA is a Spanish immersion center as we would like our daughter to be fully bilingual. Her father speaks to her in Spanish at home, and it is great to have a center that reinforces her language development. The curriculum is fantastic and rich with cultural lessons as well as plenty of learning through music, art, science, and play. We love that the day is well structured and balanced with activities that foster social development, academic learning, and physical fitness. My daughter loves doing yoga and learning dances. She also enjoys the weekly soccer lessons. We also appreciate that the teachers communicate our daughter's progress through daily logs and parent conferences. AMA is a very well-rounded child care center, and we are thrilled to be a part of the AMA family!
My daughters have gone to Pumpkin Patch Leaning Academy (now Academia de mi Abuela) since they were 2 and my youngest is now graduating from there. Over the past 3 years that we've attended, the Director, Cynthia, has grown her school from a small in-home program to now a large 3-classroom school. Early on there were some issues with staff turn-over, but now she has settled on a truly stellar group of loving, attentive teachers. They are young, energetic, and implement Cynthia's creative and challenging curriculum very well. The art projects are amazing--I like that they don't ''correct'' the childrens' work (for example, one project came home with a completely sideways rainbow, and I love it!). Cynthia's two greatest assets are her teachers and her curriculum. Despite being an English-speaking home, both of my daughters now understand basic Spanish, can speak rudimentary sentences in Spanish and are ready for Spanish immersion kindergarten. They learned the basics to be ready for kindergarten and made some great friends along the way. PPLA Parent
I am a mother with two daughters who currently attend Academic de Mi Abuela (AMA) which was previously known as Pumpkin Patch Learning Academy (PPLA). My girls are 4 years old and 1 1/2 years old and they have been at AMA for almost 1 year now and we have had an incredible experience overall. Cynthia Reimann (the school director) is the absolute best. She has created (with help from her incredible teaching staff) an unbelievable atmosphere at her Spanish immersion preschool program. Cynthia has a lot of experience teaching both preschool and elementary Spanish immersion classes and she has the ability to make all of her students feel as though they are her absolute favorite child in the world. My daughters love all of the fun field trips that the school takes throughout the year (Oakland Zoo, Lawrence Hall of Science, etc). You know your child is in good hands when you receive text messages from Cynthia with a picture of your child during the field trip with a huge grin on their face! I feel like AMA/PPLA is a perfect combination of hands-on learning/exploration/free play with just enough structure and academics to help the children build kindergarten readiness skills. I highly recommend this program to parents who are looking for a warm, caring, trusting, and enriching preschool environment. Joey
We are looking to enroll our little one in a Spanish-immersion preschool next year and are looking for recent reviews on Pumpkin Patch Learning Academy (PPLA) in Oakland. We think we have a good idea about the other Spanish-immersion schools in the area (e.g., KISS, Monte Tavor), but would like to hear about experiences with PPLA. Thanks! Planning ahead
Hi There, I can't offer much experience on this preschool. I live one block away and am very interested in more reviews as well. For some reason it seems that it's hard to get any reviews/experience for schools in this area! I'll be curious to hear what others say, though, sadly, I haven't seen any responses yet. I'm planning to visit the school as well. My daughter is 2 and we're looking for a new school when she turns 3. Since she's in a home-based preschool now, I was thinking a more school-like setting would be a good next step, but I really think the Spanish is important, sooo we are considering Pumpkin Patch as well. we've also heard a lot about Monte Tavor and other schools in Berkeley, etc, but many seem so hard to get in to. I can say that the place seem safe and quiet at least from living nearby! Well, good luck. Sorry can't help more! lacking info in ivy hill!
I know this was a question from a rather old newsletter, but I wanted to reply. I have a friend who worked at PPLA and she has only good things to say about the place. When i asked her for info about it, this is what she wrote me in a personal email: ''What is important mostly to PPLA is a proficiency in English/Spanish communication and understanding, both verbally and literally, with lots of energy put towards developing self-help skills, and of course, social-emotional growth as well. I'll give a list of some aspects of the school: 90% Spanish instruction/communication throughout the day; frequent attention to writing and drawing and tuning motor skills with writing and crafting tools; Lots of education through song and dance, mostly in Spanish. (Cynthia (the owner) is a dancer, so she likes to incorporate lots of dance forms, and a good mix of Latino song, in learning; Yoga; Lots of room for imaginative and theatrical play throughout the day; lots of outdoor play, and getting dirty, munching on chard and celery and broccoli; I love the emphasis on habitual expression through the act of painting (in some form. Painting every day, sometimes twice.) The lunch is usually pretty impressive, really healthful, and the kids love it.'' Needless to say, after a glowing review like that from a trusted friend who has been on the ''inside'' of the school for an extended period of time, I am definitely considering sending my son there! Future PPLA family???
For anyone looking for a spanish immersion preschool, PPLA is amazing! My son just began attending this fall and is already proud of his spanish vocabulary aquisitions! Cynthia, the director is a former bilingual elementary teacher and is amazing! This hidden gem doesn't have a lot of publicity yet so I just wanted to let parents know that if they are seeking an immersion program they should give PPLA a look! Alexandria
The Pumpkin Patch Learning Academy is a great home-based daycare and preschool East of Lake Merritt. We have been there for 6 months now and my son has done really well. He has made some wonderful friends. It is one of the few Spanish Immersion programs in Oakland. The director really wants active participation from the parents, which was a big draw for me. I also love the art projects that they do, and they have recently added organic garden beds and renovated the outdoor area. The kids are very busy and have fun every day! Drawbacks would be the winter and spring breaks of 2 weeks each, plus lots of holidays - so sometimes I have to get alternate care. -Elise