Kinder Amigos

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

Shirley Woods, the principal at Smithridge Elementary School, says Kinder Amigos provide the extra support in a classroom of very young learners.
"Our children are bi-lingual when they come. Mostly spanish speaking, and they act as a voice for the children and also to the parents. It has been an enormous help for us."

Kinder Amigos, like Monica Raomos , are placed in schools in the Washoe County School District to act as a liaison between the student, teacher, and often the parent.

"What is this?"
"Bear."

The program began this school year.
But, Joanne Bond, with the Lifestyle Homes Foundation, says they cannot continue to pick up the entire tab.
"We have approximately 19 schools that are participating in the program and we have approximately about 50 amigos. We have committed that we will maintain the program in those schools. And, it amounts to about $6,000 per amigo for the semester."

The literacy coordinator for the school says studies show that children up to age seven can pick up two languages, although the process can be slow.
Vicki Fitzgerald, the kindergarten teacher, says the individual attention given to the children by the amigo is noticeable.

"She can take the time and explain to them in Spanish and explain to them what those little techniques. Like what's a capital letter, what's a period, the punctuation mark and things like that and it helps so much. They come back to the carpet with me and say, oh I know what that is."


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