Josie Gerber, Mónica Ramirez and Victoria Williams founded Spanish Schoolhouse in 1999 teaching classes in their living rooms. Today Spanish Schoolhouse is the largest Spanish-immersion preschool in North America with 17 locations throughout Texas.

Following a premium curriculum, children at Spanish Schoolhouse learn everything students at a traditional preschool learn plus the Spanish language. The school's newest location in Friendswood opened in October and is at 501 S. Friendswood Drive, Ste. 125.

“We're trying to create the future we want to live in by raising the next generation of bilingual leaders,” President and CEO Evan Meehan said.

Because of the way a child’s children’s brain develops, learning a second language is much easier at a young age.

“You are never in your life going to be in a better position to acquire language,” Meehan said. “Our students graduate ahead of grade level across all subjects, but they're also bilingual.”

Spanish Schoolhouse offers several programs for children of different age groups and skill levels to learn a new language. Children who speak English at home, children who speak Spanish at home and even young children who have not developed language skills yet can benefit from classes at Spanish Schoolhouse.

Programs offered include:
  • preschool
  • kindergarten
  • summer camps for 3 to 8 year olds
  • after school programs for elementary-aged graduates of the school to continue learning Spanish
  • mommy and me classes to introduce Spanish to toddlers
Meehan said being bilingual will benefit graduates of Spanish Schoolhouse for their entire lives.

“There's studies that show that bilingual patients have a delayed or less onset of dementia and Alzheimer's,” Meehan said. “Bilingual jobseekers command higher salaries and get more offers. Bilingual students in elementary school actually perform above their peers in non-language related subjects like math and science. And it all starts at the age group that we serve.”

Meehan said Spanish Schoolhouse is more than a school, it's a community. The school’s 25th anniversary is next year, and previous students regularly contact the school to share how they are continuing to use the skills they learned years ago.

“We have students who have graduated from top universities and then gone to work abroad,” Meehan said. “They'll email their preschool teacher from 20 years ago to tell him about the job

offer they accepted in Spain. It's a lifelong thing.”

Curriculum development specialist Victoria Restrepo said she enrolled her son in Spanish Schoolhouse in 2004. She said he loved the program so much she applied to teach at the school.

“Not only did I have opportunities to teach preschool and kindergarten but also shared my culture and met wonderful people from all over the world,” Restrepo said. “It has been almost 20 years, and I’ve had many opportunities to enrich my professional experiences, be part and see positive changes in the lives of our students and families as we help to enrich and empower so many with culture and language.”

The origin story of the Friendswood location is another example of Spanish Schoolhouse’s commitment to the communities it serves.

“We actually had three families who were living in Friendswood and driving all the way to our school in Sugar Land,” Meehan said. “That was part of the initial research we started doing in the area. We looked at the school district, and we looked at some of the demographics and we knew that it looked like a place where young families were raising children and prioritizing education.”

The school is hosting a grand-opening celebration for the Friendswood campus on Jan. 27, which will be open to the public.

Spanish Schoolhouse continues to expand, helping more children learn Spanish. The school is planning to open a location in Pearland in June 2024.

Families who sign their children up now will be part of priority registration for the 2024-2025 school year which begins Jan 17. During priority registration, parents can secure their child's spot before the school opens its waitlist. Open registration begins January 31 for new families.

Visit Spanish Schoolhouse’s website to enroll today.

The above story was produced by Multi-Platform Journalist Mary Katherine Shapiro with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.