Kyrene School District offers bilingual early learning programs

TEMPE, AZ - The Valley's Kyrene School District is offering several early-learning programs, including one that will help your child become bilingual.

When asked in Spanish what his favorite color is, 3-year-old Lucas Taylor replied, "Azul." That's blue in English.

Lucas is a student at Bienvenidos , a foreign language immersion program at Kyrene de los Ninos Elementary School in Tempe.

Bievenidos, which means welcome in Spanish, is now in its second year.

The program is open to 3, 4 and 5 year olds who speak English.

The goal is for them to become bilingual by the end of the school year.

"They're like little sponges," said Maria Humphries, Bienvenidos program coordinator and instructor. "They take everything in and they're more open-minded about it."

Classes are Monday through Friday, from 7:35 a.m. to 2:35 p.m.

Half of the day is conducted in Spanish, the other in English.

"We use a lot of music and movement and we read a lot," said Humphries.

Kindergarten and first grade classes at Kyrene de los Ninos are also dual language.

The school's goal is to add another grade to the line up, until K through 5th grade classes are taught in English and Spanish.

"After English, Spanish is one of the languages a lot of other people speak," said Humphries. "Not only in the United States, but anywhere in the world. So, it's a huge benefit to grow up bilingual."

Dual language kindergarten and first grade classes are free.

But, the Bienvenidos early-learning program costs $545 per month.

The Kyrene School District offers tuition assistance for those who qualify.

To learn more, visit the Bienvenidos website.

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