Nueva York Kiddos (203 Driggs Ave.) is a Spanish-learning center in Greenpoint that started in 2017 as a weekly art class with four kids. Over the past few years, it has grown into a program with 130 kids participating in after-school classes, online and in-person Spanish lessons, and camps.
Nueva York Kiddos’ mission is to teach Spanish in a joyful environment. The team believes that students learn better when they are having fun. The programs at Nueva York Kiddos allow students to learn the language in a natural way through songs, games, hands-on art projects, and experiments.
“Our program is a safe, joyful, creative space where kids of different ages and different backgrounds enjoy learning with each other. We encourage creativity, kindness, individual and teamwork and embrace spontaneity at all times,” explains Yne Leal, the director and lead teacher at Nueva York Kiddos.
Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Leal founded Nueva York Kiddos after receiving a certification from El Instituto Cervantes to teach Spanish as a Second Language.
In fact, all of the teachers and staff at Nueva York Kiddos are native Spanish speakers. With teachers from Spain, Venezuela, Colombia and Perú, the students are exposed to different accents and expressions. Each week, students learn about traditions and celebrations of Spanish speaking countries. “We embrace diversity and the love and curiosity about different cultures,” says Leal.
The most robust program at Nueva York Kiddos is the popular After-School Program. Currently, after-school classes run from Monday through Thursday when Nueva York teachers pick up students from different schools in District 14 and walk them to McGolrick Park to play and have a snack before ending up in a classroom nearby. When students enter the classroom they get to choose how they feel from a Mood Station, which gives teachers information about the students’ days and what they might need to do in order to make their days better.
The classes have 2 teachers and up to 12 kids per day, allowing for a 6 to 1 ratio. “We keep classes small to make sure teachers get to know each student and vice versa. Our small groups allow every student to receive some personalized attention,” says Leal.
During the summer, Nueva York Kiddos offers a 3-week camp for kids ages 5 – 10 in Greenpoint that runs from July 4 through July 22. Campers in the Summer Camp Program spend most of the time outdoors visiting different local parks every day and going on field trips to other city parks.
In addition to the After-School Program and Summer Camp, Nueva York Kiddos also offers private or semi-private Spanish lessons online or in homes. The Spanish instructors teach at homes in Williamsburg and Greenpoint for 45 minutes with 1-3 students who are the same Spanish level.
Greenpointers can find out more about all of the programs at Nueva York Kiddos and enroll on their website.