Our Core Values
Full Immersion - Not Bilingual
We believe that children learn a second language best through immersion. We work with our teachers to eliminate English in the classroom. Our curriculum focuses not only on the skill development of the children, but also intentionally works to teach the language.
Healthy Foods Matter
We believe that the food we put into our bodies is important - much more so for growing little bodies! Our snacks contain no trans fats, no high fructose corn syrup and are often organic. The milk we serve is rBGH-free. Our lunches are catered and don't provide as much control over the ingredients but we are actively working towards this goal.
Teacher and Child Bonding
We believe that children learn best when they feel safe and loved. We pay special attention to ensure that children develop a bond with their teacher throughout the year. Children are placed with one primary teacher for the entire school year. We are careful with our hiring decisions to ensure our staff believe in our mission. Then we do our best to provide an environment that makes people want to stay. If a teacher decides to resign, we ask that it is done only at the end of the school year.
We believe that it is important to support the communities where we are located. One way we contribute is by choosing to use existing community spaces. Our facilities may not be the newest and most fashionable but that is a conscious choice. We want to be in the community and bring life to older buildings (like churches) that would otherwise be sitting empty during the week.
The teachers and other staff at Mis Amigos are really what sets us apart from other preschools. Watch the videos below to hear two of our teachers talk about what makes Mis Amigos special.
We love that our teachers come from all over Latin America so they can teach children not just the language but also about their culture.
If you are a native-speaking Spanish teacher (or speak with native-like fluency) who loves to share your language and culture with children and their parents, please contact Alejandrina at firstname.lastname@example.org.Current Opportunities Available
This is more than just a job, this is a mission. A mission to make the world smaller one child at a time. It might sound like a lofty goal but we believe that by teaching a child another language and culture, we open his or her eyes to the world around them. We learn ways we are different and ways we are the same. We start to understand each other a little bit more.
2001: Mis Amigos was founded by two stay-at-home moms in Plymouth, MN. The founders (also former elementary teachers) wanted to provide preschool in Spanish for their own kids. We began by offering half-day preschool only.
2003: Mis Amigos moves to Hopkins. Dawn Uribe (current owner) begins her journey with Mis Amigos as her oldest son attends preschool.
2005: When founders are ready to move to other projects, Dawn purchases Mis Amigos and becomes the director.
2009: Mis Amigos begins to provide full-day care for their students.
2010: Mis Amigos St. Paul opens.
2011: Mis Amigos Minnetonka opens.
2012: Mis Amigos welcomes Lori Semke as Executive Director.
2013: All three Mis Amigos locations are accredited by NAEYC.
Excerpts from The Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2004¹ and “Opening the World to Children Through Second Language Learning”²
Why should children learn a second language?
- Giving a child the gift of foreign language at a young age brings life-long benefits which extend far beyond the realm of language learning itself.²
- Young children who are exposed to foreign language have the natural ability to string words together and pronounce them authentically from simply absorbing the spoken language.²
- Children are at an ideal age to gain proficiency in a foreign language because it is taught in a fun and stimulating environment.²
- Studies show that students who learn a foreign language before puberty are more likely to achieve native-like pronunciation than those who pick it up later in life... the more time students spend in the target language (immersed), the more proficient they become.¹
- For more information on this topic, see the Center for Applied Linguistic (CAL) article, Benefits of Being Bilingual.
Why should children learn language with an immersion program?
- While learning a second language, the children are also becoming aware of other cultures and countries of the Spanish-speaking world.
- Many parents at Mis Amigos Spanish Immersion are delighted at hearing their children sing songs using Spanish words and realize that true comprehension is taking place!
- “Immersion education is by far the best type of program in the U.S. for children to learn a foreign language,” says Nancy Rhodes, director of foreign-language education at the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, D.C.¹
- For more information on this topic, see the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) FAQ about Immersion Education.
Thanks to Peterson Productions (who happen to be a former Mis Amigos family!) for the creation of these videos which show a little bit about our school and why it is such a special place.