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).
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 on 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.
We feel so fortunate to have found the LBM community. We are only in our first year, but expect to bring all our children up through LBM because we are so impressed by the genuinely caring teachers, the spirit of inclusivity and multiculturalism, and the school’s use of the Conscious Discipline curriculum (focusing on emotional intelligence and teaching children skills for responsibility and positive behaviors). After only a few months of instruction, our two-year-old daughter understands Spanish instruction regarding all aspects of her day and is starting to regularly sing Spanish songs and use Spanish words! We love the home connection and regular communication between us and her teachers. A few times our daughter has sung songs with which I’m unfamiliar, so I simply ask her teacher to think about what she could be trying to sing and every time the teacher has been able to figure it out and send me the song so I can learn it and practice it with my daughter. What a joy!
The staff has been so supportive as we adjusted to the preschool routine, and they always go above and beyond to make sure all of our questions are addressed. We love the enthusiastic energy of the school, which shows itself in so many wonderful ways. Some of our favorites are the Friday morning song and dance routine and how the teachers regularly dress up in themes that connect with the curriculum. LBM truly sees every moment as an opportunity for experiential learning and we are so glad this school is helping to bring up members of this community for the benefit of all.
We recommend LBM to everyone we meet and encourage you to go tour the school today.
My husband and I had been looking for a preschool for our son that would was cultural diverse. As Hispanic parents, we wanted to ensure that the school we selected was a Spanish Immersion school. After the first week of school, our son was talking more, progressing quickly, and interacting with other kids. The school has made a world of difference and we’ve met really great families.What I love most is that this is not a school that teaches Spanish. They teach in Spanish. Therefore, our son is continuously learning and progressing which is most important to us.