We are raising my three year old daughter in a bilingual household but her Spanish
is really falling behind her English fluency. She is in a non bilingual preschool a
few mornings a week but I would like to start searching for a quality bilingual
(Spanish) preschool program that is not too far from San Leandro (Oakland, Hayward,
Castro Valley). Any suggestions?
-striving for a bilingual child
If you are willing and able to do a co-op, check out Las Semillitas in
Alameda. We loved what we saw but were on the wait list for a long time and
ultimately had to make other arrangements, putting our son in a preschool
we love but that has very limited Spanish. (We are a bilingual family too.
Our son, who previously always chose to speak Spanish, now always opts for
San Leandro mom
Our daughters attend The Renaissance International School in the Diamond
District of Oakland, 8 miles from our home in north San Leandro. They have
an amazing bilingual preschool - in either French and English or Spanish
and English - and then a trilingual elementary and junior high programs -
French, Spanish and English. It's truly an international program with
exposure to many cultures through music, art and other study. We have been
delighted to be a part of the community and my daughters' educational
experiences could not be better. I hope you check it out! Feel free to
contact me with any questions.
3520 Laguna Avenue, Oakland, CA 94602
Non-spanish speaking friends had their kids there and they learned to speak
Spanish - not just words - and continued with Spanish at Montclair
Elementary. Fluent in Spanish now.
Escuela Bilingue Internacional has a fabulous preschool in the Rockridge
area of Oakland. It's got it all - loving teachers from Latin America, a
beautiful old school building, fun, Spanish immersion, art, rich language
arts, and is part of an International Baccalaureate school that goes all
the way to eighth grade. Many families love it so much that they stay even
when kids get to kindergarten.
I am also from San Leandro trying to raise my daughter to speak Spanish. I
am also looking into schools and contemplating whether to have her go to a
local school or a bilingual one. Two preschools to consider are La
Semillitas in Alameda and La Plazita in Oakland. Bahia in Berkeley is a
well know program however it may be too far for you.
If you are looking for other opportunities for her to speak Spanish, the
San Leandro Main Library has an Early literacy storytime/Cuentos para la
alfabetizacion the second Saturday of the month at 10:30. There are also
two story times in Spanish on Tuesday and Thursday mornings (South Branch &
Main) in the event she does not have preschool on these days.
I take my daughter to a Spanish/English Play & Learn class in San Leandro
through the city. It meets twice a week in the late afternoon for an hour
and half. You have to accompany your child. It can be challenging for sure
to raise a bilingual child. Playing with other children that speak Spanish
definitely helps. I like going to Halycon Park because there are at times a
lot of children who speak Spanish there.
Si Se Puede!
My daughter will turn three in Feb 2012. I would like to find a preschool program for her that is part-time, maybe three mornings a week - 9:00 - 12:00 PM. I would love to it to be Spanish Immersion. Oakland or Berkeley would work. Any suggestions? Thank you! Anon
Check out La Plazita in Oakland. I'm not sure they do 9-12; I think it's more like 9-3, but they might be flexible. http://www.laplazitapreschool.com Anon
Our 3 yr old has just finished the first week at the newly opened Berkeley location of Kids Into Speaking Spanish, and so far it is fantastic. The teachers are competent and caring and the school environment feels friendly and warm. The school seems to be off to a great start and I am excited for future plans like getting a community garden (kids, teachers, parents) started in the large backyard play area.
They are still enrolling and I see they've posted a notice below for an upcoming open house. Give it a look--we really feel like we've found the right place! New and happy Berkeley K.I.S.S. parent
Our family is looking for a good Western East Bay preschool environment to help our 3yo daughter get a good start on her Spanish. We're a bilingual household, but Daddy's Spanish is borderline nonexistent so the dominant language is still Ingles. Thanks! Language Lagging Papa
EBI! (Escuela Bilingue Internacional) It is a WONDERFUL school. Our 2 boys have been there from the age of three (they're in Kindergarten and 2 grade now). They are both fluent and can read & write in Spanish and English. I love everything about the school - the warm and huggy teachers, the thoughful education my boys are receiving, the fabulous head of the school, and the amazing parents & kids who make up the community. It is the best. We could not be happier. Una mama de dos muCJune 2008ecos
Our situation is almost identical to yours. My wife is fluent in Spanish, but I speak almost none. However, we both wanted a bilingual education for our 3 year old daughter. We ended up enrolling her at Escuela Bilingue Internacional (EBI), which is located on the Oakland/Berkeley border. We were very impressed by their teaching method, especially the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. While we did consider some other language schools, it seemed to us that EBI understood that while becoming bilingual is very important, it is still just one component of a complete education. Also, we found that a number of other children who attend come from households where Spanish is not the primary language spoken.
Although our daughter has only been there a short while, she is already starting to say some words in Spanish and sing some Spanish songs. We're very happy with our choice, and I would highly recommend EBI to others. Feel free to email me if you want any more information. Peter
Escuela Bilingue Internacional starts in preschool, and can stay just a preschool for your child, but also will go up to 8th grade. I'm looking forward to having fully biliterate kids who also will speak some conversational Mandarin, which is added four hours a week after third grade. - parent
Our 3 and 5 year old sons just started at Escuela Bilingue Internacional this year in Oakland, and we couldn't be happier to be there. The school and its staff are incredibly thoughtful and dedicated, providing a warm, welcoming, creative environment that our kids love! It's only been two months and already my boys, who previously had no Spanish, are absorbing the language. They are learning a tremendous amount and more importantly to us, having a lot of fun doing it. It's amazing to see their language skills blossom alongside their confidence. I highly recommend the school. Feel free to email me directly via moderator if you have more questions. We love EBI
After reading several posts about parents being on pre-school waiting lists for up to 3 years, I'm getting worried. I have an infant son and wonder when I should start looking for pre- schools. I'm interested in Spanish immersion-type programs, in particular, but am open to other good play-based schools in Oakland or nearby. I would like to get other perspectives, experiences, and suggestions. Do you love your pre-school? Tell me about that too. Thanks! new mommy
Centro Vida is a wonderful Spanish immersion preschool. However, I would get on their waiting list NOW. I put my son on the list as soon as he was born, and he didn't get in until part way through the first year! But he loved it, and spoke Spanish fluently while he was there. hablamos espanol
Hi-I highly recommend Viva El Espanol, Spanish Immersion school, based in Lafayette,but there are also campuses in Alameda,Pleasanton,just to name a few,also incorporated in the Public schools in parts of the Bay Area.Best of all,they always have openings, for infants to adults and are flexible. My children, who are 3 1/2 and 5 yrs old have been attending the Lafayette campus for 2 years and they love it!The staff is Great!The phone(925)962-9177 or check them out at www.LamorindaSpanish.com Denise
Does anyone have a recommendation for a Spanish/ bilingual preschool or daycare for a 2 year old in September? I am looking in El Cerrito, Berkeley, Albany, Pinole and Oakland. I do like La Casita in Pinole, but she can't start until she is 2.5.
I'm having a tough time locating one myself, so your recommendations are greatly appreciated! Shana
The best in Oakland/Berkeley area, on Alcatraz Ave. is EBI Escuela Bilingue Internacional, but........ I don't think they will accept a 2 year old. Is a good reference for next year 2009. Good Luck Susana
Of course for the best bilingual preschool, Centro Vida in Berkeley is the best but is hard to get into. You can try anyway though. My son went there. Another school that is in Berkeley is Mi Escuelita in Berkeley off Marin. My daughter went there and I know they accept young toddlers. Good Luck. Kristine
Have you heard of Viva el Espanol? We offer full-immersion Spanish classes for kids of all ages, and have multiple proficiency levels. We are a supplement to whatever pre-school or elementary school your child attends. We have locations in Alameda, Lafayette and Pleasanton. We also have some terrific summer programs. Please call 925-962-9177 for more information or visit our website at www.vivaelespanol.org. Margaret Grover-Roos
We are looking for a Spanish immersion child care or kindergarten situation for our soon-to-be-five-year-old . We tried for Washington Elementary and have been wait-listed with not much hope of getting in next school year. Does anyone know of anything in Richmond, El Sobrante, Albany, El Cerrito (you get the picture); public or private; pre-school or Kindergarten that we could check out? thanks so much
Hi, You might want to check out www.contracostapreschools.com. They have tons of preschools listed on their site and I've seen some Spanish immersion programs as well. JJ
I am looking for Spanish Immersion Pre Schools in the Bay Area. I already know about EBI and KISS. I would love to hear people's experiences with both of these schools. I would also LOVE to know about any other schools. Are there more I don't know about?? In the East Bay, SF, or even the Peninsula?? Really, anywhere...i'd like to research all of them and hear reviews. Thanks in advance. Isabella
My kids (ages 4.5 and 2 years) go to ''My Spanish Village'', a home-based total spanish immersion program in Walnut Creek. We LOVE the school, the teachers, the director/owner, the community. I think that they are working off a wait list right now, but I know that she is looking to grow the school. Call Ita Perez, cell 925-286-4382. She is amazing! I am happy to talk more about our experience. Mama feliz
Check out Monte Tavor off of MacArthur & Fruitvale in Oakland. Also Renaissance Montessori, I think in the Glenview area of Oakland. These two, EBI & KISS all have a very different feel to them in setting & style. Also, EBI & Renaissance go on to grade school, which is an important consideration if you want to continue with the Spanish immersion long-term and are willing to go the private school route. also looking
I would recommend you look into El Nuevo Mundo Children's Center in Richmond. They are the sister school of Centro Vida in Berkeley. Although the school is technically bi-lingual, almost everything happens in Spanish. My daugher went there for a year before starting kindergarten and was the only student from a non- Spanish speaking home. Almost all of the students and teachers are native Spanish speakers. She learned a ton of Spanish and had several non-English speaking friends with whom she managed to comminicate quite well. She also had a perfect accent as a result of being with so many native speakers.
In addition to the great language-learning aspect of the school, it is just a really great place on top of that. I would have liked so send her there even if I hadn't been intent on a Spanish speaking pre-school for her. The teachers are warm, friendly and well trained. The program has a good balance between structure and freedom of choice which prepares kids for kindergarten in an age appropriate and fun way.
They do fantastic productions for holidays and even feed your child! Not having to worry about breakfast or lunch was really a bonus for me. Their wonderful cook Maria Elena makes all sorts of yummy things everday and all of the kids eat together in a little cafeteria. They have a nice playground space outside. They also plan field trips from time to time that included a picnic at a park and a trip to the movies, if you can believe it.
The other good thing about this school is that it is relatively unknown outside of the immediate neighborhood so there is no crazy situation of needing to be on the waiting list before you child is even born.
Their phone number is (510)233-2329. Heather
We have lost all hope of moving up the waiting list at Centro Vida and are desperately seeking a bilingual Spanish/English pre- school for our daughter (starting in January 2004). Does anyone know of anything that at least comes close? We're in Oakland but would even consider San Francisco. She is currently in bilingual child care and speaks both languages at home. Feels like we're going to have to make a choice between Spanish language development and early childhood education; hate to have think about it that way! Any advice and creative solutions welcome. julie
Hi, Right next door to Centro Vida is a small family daycare owned by Lupe. My daughter goes there and she took to it like a fish to water. All three teachers speak spanish and so do many of the children. My daughter, who is two, peppers her speech with Spanish and she is primarily an English speaker. Give them a call and ask them anything you want to know. Her number is 524- 5012. Good luck. Cherene
Have you tried calling Bananas for bilingual child care providers? (Their referral line is 510-658-0381)Many of their providers offer quality comparable to preschools. The advantages might be finding native speakers of the languages you use at home and smaller group sizes. The smaller group size is especially beneficial for children under 3 years old. Pat
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