Our Story

/Our Story
Our Story 2017-11-12T23:55:01+00:00

Our Program

Established in 2010, Little Big Minds was founded to be a leader in early childhood Spanish immersion preschool education. As staff members, we will work together to provide an excellent experience for every family who enters one of our preschools. You will find that much attention has been paid to the many details that create a safe and nurturing environment for preschoolers to play and learn.

Little Big Minds provides a full immersion program. The entire academic day is conducted in Spanish. This will allow students to develop early childhood bilingualism which is the development of two languages within the first five years of life (Garcia, 1986). The immersion program will set up a bilingual environment where students are exposed naturally to the Spanish languages through social and academic interaction. This bilingual experience will provide students the opportunity to understand and apply two languages that may lead to the development of more advanced cognitive development than monolingual students (Bialystock, 1999).

Research confirms that learning a second language before age five significantly alters the brain’s structure. According to the Society for Neuroscience, increased brain activity is so prominent and predictable that neurologists can identify bilingualism from a brain scan[1]. The cognitive benefits include reading proficiency, increased comprehension, greater flexibility in thinking, improved listening and problem-solving skills[2]. The belief that learning two languages might confuse or delay young learners has been consistently disproved. Rather, new studies show that learning two languages before the age of 5 gives children the ability to scaffold fundamental skills and apply them to both languages.

[1] Society for Neuroscience. (September 2008) [2] Bialystok, E. (2007). Language acquisition and bilingualism.

Our Founder

Pilar KelleyPrincipal
Pilar Kelley, has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Bilingual Education from Arizona State University. Born in Colombia, Pilar and her family have lived and worked throughout North and South America. She used her international experience and passion for preschoolers to develop Tic-Talk Spanish®, a program that uses Total Physical Response (TPR), visual aids, music and movement to teach Spanish to 2 to 6 year olds. More than 5,000 preschool-age children have participated in Tic-Talk Spanish Arizona and the program is now licensed in ten other states. Ms. Kelley has more than 12 years experience as a leader in early childhood Spanish immersion and currently serves at the Board of Directors for the Phoenix Children Museum. As a Principal, Pilar brings an in depth understanding of bilingual early childhood education and a passion for building an inclusive, positive and productive environment for all our Little BIG Minds students.