Why Spanish Language and Cultural Immersion Is Important

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Parents – did you know that Spanish is the primary language of 20 countries worldwide? It is estimated that the combined number of Spanish speakers is almost 500 million, making it the second most widely spoken language (in terms of native speakers) in the world! Spanish is also the third most spoken language by total number of speakers after Mandarin and English!

Attending Rayito de Sol’s Spanish Immersion program provides an educational foundation that focuses on Spanish language immersion and will offer you child with the following advantages over their peers:

  • The ability to speak more than one language that is in the top three languages spoken in the world.

  • The cognitive skills early on that will be beneficial throughout their entire educational experiences; and their careers later in life.

  • Incorporates an early appreciation and respect for others by introducing a deeper understanding of Latin cultures through the immersion process.

Rayito de Sol’s premier childcare facilities integrate exceptional care and education that focuses on diversity, inclusion, and Spanish language immersion. Our centers will fill quickly and enrollment will be on a first-come opportunity basis! 

Back To School At Rayito de Sol

 

It is that time of year again, Back To School is here! The staff at Rayito de Sol goes to every length possible to create a warm and welcoming environment for our children returning from summer break, and our new incoming children who have not yet had the services of Rayito de Sol. Get your child prepared to adapt to back to school changes by considering the following tips from Parents Magazine.

1. Let your child know what their schedule will be like. Tell them what time school begins and ends each day.

2. Ask your child about their feelings - both the excitement and the concerns - about starting school.

3. Visit the school with your child to see their new classroom and meet their new teacher before school officially starts.

4. Point out the positive aspects of starting school. It will be fun and they can make new friends.

5. Let your child know that all kids are nervous about the first day of school.

6. Leave a note in your child's lunchbox that will remind them you're thinking of them while they are at school.

7. Reassure your child that if any problems arise at school, you will be there to help resolve them.

8. Try to have your child meet a classmate before the first day of school so they will already have a friend when school starts.

9. Arrange for your child to walk to school or ride together on the bus with another kid in the neighborhood.

10. Find out about after-school activities that your child can join.

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Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; Caring for Your School-Age Child: Ages 5-12, by Edward L. Schor (Bantam, 1999) The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

The Colors Of Rayito de Sol

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When your child has the opportunity to first experience Rayito de Sol, their eyes will jump along the brightly hued colors of our facility.

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Each room a vibrant glow of yellow, orange, green, blue and red. Inspiring, inviting, and stimulating; not only for the eyes, but for the brain and processes related to cognitive thought and things we associate with in our visual life.

We hope that children across age bands and of all backgrounds that come to our centers first experience a smile of joy that is ignited by the anticipation of fun as the colors engage their minds and connect the associations of language, learning, culture and more!

Exposing Children To A Bicultural World At An Early Age

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Our vision at Rayito de Sol is to be a leading multicultural educational institution that supports children’s education by teaching values that prioritize a positive coexistence between all cultures through the process of Spanish language and Latin American culture immersion and instruction; thereby enriching the life experiences of the children in our community who will then have the tools to be influential citizens and stewards of these values allowing them to excel in our developing global society.

As a Spanish Immersion NAEYC accredited center, incorporating culture in our classroom is a necessity. Throughout our locations in Minnesota and now our new location opening soon in Chicago, we are keeping culture at the forefront. Culture will always be consistent throughout the classroom and the entire center. The lobby area will feature a mural taken right out of the vibrant streets of Colombia, incorporating bright colors as children are exposed throughout the day to the latino culture and language aligned with a comprehensive STEAM curriculum.

“As the world becomes more globally conscious, an important job of educators is to help children and youth acquire knowledge about cultural differences so that they will be able to work together and solve future problems together. Cultural competence is a critical set of skills that teachers, as well as out-of-school staff, need to help all children reach their full potentials.

Dr. Patreese Ingram, Penn State University, explains how culturally competent youth development professionals play a key role in helping youth grow and develop. “The research says that a positive self-esteem and emotional well-being provides a strong foundation for developing one’s cognitive abilities. So a healthy sense of self requires that the children know who they are—and like who they are—without feeling superior to other children. Youth development professionals really play a big role in helping youth develop that self-esteem and self identity.”

By making learning about culture a regular part of in-school and out-of-school programs, teachers and staff members can increase global awareness while they reduce intolerance. Culture-study can become part of the everyday life in the classroom or out-of-school program. It can be considered part of the curriculum, or it can become part of the basic guidelines of the program, as basic as behavior management and how children practice mutual respect and understanding. The most important piece of starting a culture-study is having instructors who are culturally competent.” - PennState Extenstion

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Learn more about Rayito de Sol’s program and how we incorporate culture into our curriculum by touring our center today!

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References
United States Census Bureau. Revised 2015. “2014 Highlights.” US Census Bureau, Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division. https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/overview
Davis, Bonnie M. 2012. How to Teach Students Who Don’t Look Like You: Culturally Responsive Teaching Strategies.Corwin Press.  

Incorporating Spanish Into Music Activities

Music is all around us every day! We hear it on the radio in the car, on the television at home, out on the street, and while out doing activities with family and friends! At Rayito de Sol, we incorporate music into activities every day to help our children learn Spanish in a fun and easy way!

Children can learn to sing before they speak

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Even before children start talking proper sentences, most will be able to sing a song or part of it. Our brains seem to remember language easier when the words are used with music.

Before each of my children even could speak sentences, they could sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in English word for word because it was one of the songs I sang to them before bed every night.

Lyrics teach all types of vocabulary

Different songs can be used to teach your child specific vocabulary. When teaching English to children I always started a class with a good round of singing:

  • The alphabet can be taught by singing the “ABC’s”

  • Parts of the body can be taught by singing “The Hokey Pokey”

  • Farm animals can be taught by singing “Old McDonald had a Farm”

  • Numbers can be taught by singing “5 Little Monkeys”

Most of the songs translate into many languages so by playing them and singing to your child they can easily pick them up. For bilingual or multilingual children who know the song in one language, it will be easier for them to understand the meaning of the song when they hear it in another.

Rhyming helps to learn similar words and prepare for reading

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Most children’s songs are simple and have rhyming words which are easy for kids to remember. Learning to rhyme is an important skill to have when starting to read in any language. We like to sometimes make up our own songs using words that rhyme.

Using movement helps to enforce the meaning

Songs that include movement such as “If your happy and you know it” and “Heads, shoulders, knees and toes”, reinforce the lyrics of the song. By pointing at things you are saying, or performing the actions that are sang, children will learn to associate the words they are saying to the movements they are making.

Children don’t realise they are learning

Even when children don’t know the words to the songs, music can play such an important role in the learning process as they don’t actually realise they are learning. When I put music on at home, my kids immediately start to dance and try to sing along. Posted by Chontelle Bonfiglio - Bilingualkidspot on October 3, 2016


Find out more on Rayito de Sol’s Spanish Immersion Program by scheduling a tour today!

Schedule A Tour

The Benefits of Speaking Spanish to Children During Infancy

At Rayito de Sol, we embrace bilingual education. From our classroom curriculum to physical activities, we are always incorporating Spanish into the lives of our students. There are many benefits to exposing children and babies to a second language. During infancy, the child’s brain is a learning machine. What better time than now to expose them to a second language and give the the excellent benefits of language immersion!

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“Children who become bilingual learn how to prioritize information, as their brains have to figure out how to handle two sets of words for everything. All that mental juggling, as one speaker called it, appears to be a good thing for the brain.

But what intrigued me most was research presented by Janet Werker, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia. She studies babies who grow up in bilingual households and has found that these babies demonstrate certain language abilities at birth that babies exposed to just one language don’t. For example, a newborn from a monolingual household will show a preference for listening to its native language only. But a baby born into a bilingual home shows equal interest in both languages it has been exposed to in the womb.

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In Werker’s experiments, all babies, monolingual and bilingual, can discriminate between speakers of different language classes at four and six months old, but the monolingual infants lost this ability by eight months of age. The bilingual babies, however, are even more special. In one experiment, Werker exposed eight-month-old babies who grew up in households speaking Spanish, Catalan, or Spanish and Catalan (i.e., bilingual) to videos of women speaking English or French. The bilingual babies, but not the monolingual ones, were able to tell the difference between the two unfamiliar languages.” Sarah Zielinski - Smithsonian

Find out more on Rayito de Sol’s Spanish Immersion Program by scheduling a tour at our location in Minneapolis or Richfield today! Our new Chicago location will be opening soon. 

Schedule A Tour

Outside Play & Parks To Incorporate Spanish

The Twin Cities are full of great parks! Parks give us a great opportunity to get out in nature and spend time with our family and friends. Children can play on playgrounds, swim in outdoor pools, play sports, dance, listen to music, discover art, and much more! In 2017, Minneapolis ranked for the fifth time as the No. 1 in the Trust for Public Land ranking of the 100 large city park systems.

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“The Twin Cities did well overall at a time when many large cities face maintenance backlogs and operations problems, said Charlie McCabe, director of the Center for City Park Excellence at the Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit that works with public and nonprofit agencies to protect parklands. It’s community support that really helps thrive and make city parks systems really great, especially in Minneapolis and St. Paul,” McCabe said. “It can’t exist without public support.” - Faiza Mahamud Star Tribune

Rayito de Sol is thankful we live in a community with so much support that gives us the opportunity to enjoy parks every day. We love to practice our Spanish any time we can. Parks give us a great opportunity with so much to see, smell, and feel!

Here are some of our favorite park words...

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  • bench = banco
  • tree = árbol
  • bicycle = bicicleta
  • monkey bars = Pasamanos
  • swimming pool = piscina
  • baseball field = campo de béisbol
  • playground = patio de recreo
  • sidewalk = acera
  • bridge = puente

 

Practice these words on your next park trip to continue incorporating the Spanish language into your daily life. We can’t wait to hear your child speak these words on their next trip to Rayito!

Opening Soon In Chicago!

Chicago, IL: Rayito de Sol announces the 2018 opening of its newest location in Chicago, IL.
At Rayito de Sol Spanish Immersion Early Learning Center, children have access to cultural awareness, diversity, inclusion, and multiple language acquisition at the earliest stages of learning, preparing them for a future that is boundless, global, and ever-evolving.

We aim to prepare students to excel as young leaders of tomorrow by combining an exclusive
curriculum elevated with first-class childcare services and Spanish language immersion.

☼ We offer a unique alternative for parents and participants to integrate their childcare with bilingual language immersion in a licensed and accredited program.

☼ We offer award-winning child care services for children ages six weeks to five years old, the critical stages of life in which language acquisition most readily develops.

☼ We provide our participants with the opportunity to acquire the Spanish language through an
immersion process amongst non-Spanish speaking communities.

☼ Our curriculum is grounded in both language and culture to enhance social awareness and cultural diversity in all communities we are able to impact.

☼ We are setting the bar by introducing our bilingual learning centers for young children to meet the educational needs of current and future generations. “I am a firm believer, not only in education and development, but in family, culture, relationships, and supporting individuals throughout their life’s journey. Together we achieve and along the way prepare new generations to live in the most comprehensive, tolerant, and borderless world where the future is more promising” said Luisa Fuentes, founder of Rayito de Sol.

Luisa Fuentes is a native Peruvian with degrees in journalism and early childhood education from
Garcilaso de la Vega University, coupled with 17 years of teaching experience with children under the age of six. In 2003, Luisa created Rayito de Sol with a vision that was focused on growth and
development to provide children with a unique and holistic learning environment that integrates
childcare and education with culture and language. Rayito de Sol is now an experienced educational institution with over 15 years of service provided to communities and families in Minnesota.

Rayito de Sol will be the first of its kind in the city of Chicago. We will offer programs and services with a structured business model in a premier childcare facility that integrates diversity, inclusion, and language immersion.

Our History

Luisa Fuentes emigrated from Lima Peru to Minnesota over 17 years ago. Luisa knew that to be successful it was imperative for her to begin the immersion process in her new community by first learning the language and then concurrently learning the culture and all aspects of what it means to be a “Minnesotan”. With degrees in journalism and early childhood education from Garcilaso de la Vega University, coupled with 17 years of teaching experience with children under the age of six, she knew the importance of education - regardless of your culture or where you come from.

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In 2003, Luisa founded Rayito de Sol Spanish Immersion Early Learning Centers. Her objective was not only to offer families affordable child care, but to also offer a learning environment that shares the wonders of the Spanish language and Latin America cultures; thereby providing children with a multicultural education.

With her zest for her Peruvian heritage, her love for her “Rayito Children and Families” and her keen business sense, she was able to grow her program and its ever-expanding offerings. Rayito de Sol provides its participants the opportunity to learn Spanish through the immersion process, as well as showing the young learners how other cultures exist and how embracing diversity makes our communities stronger, more intriguing, and allows for a greater sense of community.

Luisa Fuentes’ vision for the future remains focused on growth and development of the Rayito de Sol program and brand. Her goal is to expand across the United States and offer all families the opportunity to provide their children with a unique and holistic learning environment that integrates childcare and education with culture and language. Rayito de Sol is excited to announce...

We are coming to Chicago!

Rayito de Sol Spanish Immersion Early Learning Center aims to prepare students to excel as young leaders of tomorrow by combining an exclusive curriculum elevated with first-class child care services and Spanish Language immersion.

☼ Rayito de Sol offers a unique alternative for parents and participants to integrate their childcare with bilingual language immersion in a licensed and accredited program.

☼ Rayito de Sol offers award-winning child care services for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old, the critical stages of life in which language acquisition most readily develops.

☼ Rayito de Sol provides its participants the opportunity to acquire the Spanish language through an immersion process.

☼ Our curriculum is grounded in both language and culture to enhance social awareness and cultural diversity in all communities we are able to impact.

☼ Rayito de Sol is setting the bar higher in Chicago by introducing our bilingual learning centers for young children to meet the educational needs of current and future generations.

Rayito de Sol will be the first of its kind in the City of Chicago, offering programs and services with a structured business model in premier childcare facilities that integrate diversity, inclusion, and language immersion.

Sign up for our Chicago email list to stay up to date on our opening!