Cultivating Tomorrow’s Leaders: A Spotlight on Rayito de Sol

Navigating and choosing a preschool is a very important process to understand, especially for first-time parents. One path that has increasingly become a trend in early education is Spanish Immersion. Studies have found that Spanish Immersion students score higher on tests, have better attendance, show fewer behavioral problems, and parents are more actively involved. Additionally, language immersion classrooms typically show higher levels of diversity as there is a mix of non-native and native speakers, making the classrooms more ethnically and socioeconomically balanced, which in turn helps kids of all backgrounds gain comfort with diversity and different cultures. Children in these programs not only learn the language but also gain a deep appreciation for the culture and traditions of Spanish-speaking countries. Through immersive experiences such as celebrating Hispanic holidays, enjoying traditional foods, and engaging in cultural activities, students develop a global perspective and a sense of respect for diverse cultures.

A program that is leading by example in Minnesota is Rayito de Sol Spanish Immersion Early Learning Center. The program dates back to 2003, when entrepreneur, journalist, and educator Luisa Fuentes founded the early learning center with the goal of providing high-quality care and early education in an authentic cultural and language immersion environment. Having been around for two decades now, Rayito has an excellent grasp on the members of the community and how they can best cater to families and set their children up for success. With three locations spread around the Twin Cities, including a newly opened location in Minnetonka, they serve many families from all sorts of different communities for a truly inclusive and diverse learning experience. Rayito de Sol is also expanding nationwide and currently has three schools open in Illinois. Rayito’s 100% Spanish Immersion experience is also focused on raising well-rounded leaders of tomorrow. And the leaders of tomorrow will need to be bilingual to thrive in the workforce. Today, 13.5% of the population in the United States speaks Spanish. When a preschooler today is a leader in the workforce, it is estimated that nearly 1 in 3 Americans will speak Spanish as their primary language. Between the well-documented development benefits of language Immersion and the shift in the US population, Rayito’s families are truly giving their little leader of tomorrow a significant head start today.

The developmental benefits of language immersion for children are well documented. Research shows children who are exposed to another language early benefit both socially and intellectually. When you give your child the gift of a language immersion program, you are giving them so much more. Compared to single-language children, these children will receive the benefits of:

  • Stronger Attention Spans
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Multi-Tasking
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Creativity
  • Empathy and Diversity and Cultural Awareness
  • Social Skills and Emotional Intelligence

Another unique aspect of Rayito de Sol is the cultural immersion. At Rayito, children not only learn Spanish but also about the rich culture of the 21 countries where Spanish is spoken. Culture goes beyond the decorations and wall colors. It’s infused into the curriculum (e.g., one Hispanic country every week, folktales, traditional Latin-American children’s songs and games, and authentic children’s books). Some of the benefits of cultural immersion include an understanding of others and differences, collaboration skills, and meaningful connections.

Did you know that Rayito is the oldest Spanish immersion early childhood program in the Midwest? Rayito is an experienced program in what they do, with over 20 years of service and over 7,000 children graduates from the program. Rayito’s approach is authentic. All of their teachers and staff are from one of the 21 countries that speak Spanish as a first language. This ensures authenticity in both language and culture. Again, Rayito offers a truly 100% immersive experience. Aside from communication with parents, you won’t hear English at Rayito.

Rayito also holds itself to the highest standard in accreditation in the early childhood education field. It is an accredited program by NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children), which less than 7% of daycares achieve. You can be confident that the program meets the highest standards for health and safety, curriculum, teaching, and family engagement. Rayito de Sol also follows a STEAM approach (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics), where children do simple experiments, tasks, and games that explain deeper concepts to children in an easy, interactive way. A child exposed to this approach develops leadership skills, curiosity, observation skills, the ability to analyze results and predict outcomes, and an understanding of real-world applications. In short, your little learner is introduced to scientific thinking, which instills essential critical thinking skills and helps your child become a better problem solver. It isn’t uncommon for Rayito graduates to test at higher levels than kindergarten.

More students and parents in Minnesota are choosing the language immersion option because of its lifelong benefits. Not only are children able to learn a second language to help them throughout their schooling, but bilingualism has benefits outside of school and in the job market, such as the ability to effectively communicate with Minnesota’s 300,000+ Spanish speakers. In an increasingly interconnected world, the demand for bilingual and multilingual individuals in the workforce is on the rise. By starting their language learning journey in Spanish Immersion programs, students are better positioned to meet the demands of the global job market. Rayito Schools’ commitment to providing authentic language immersion equips children with the early skills needed to communicate effectively on a global level, opening doors to a brighter future with a wide range of career opportunities in an ever-diverse global economy.

Rayito de Sol – Minneapolis is hosting an Open House on Saturday, December 9th.

Click here to sign up for the Open House. Click here to learn more about Rayito de Sol.


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