Spanish Schoolhouse McKinney Campus teaches preschool basics and culture
Ann Mena, left, owner of the Spanish McKinney Campus school with campus principal Maria Del Rocio Diaz. Diaz has been the campus director since 2012. (Karen Chaney / Community Impact Newspaper)
Rafael and Ann Mena have kept precious memories of their childhood with members of their Spanish speaking family. Ann said her grandparents spoke Spanish and that Rafael grew up in a Spanish-speaking family. When Rafael accepted a job with Texas Instruments, they moved to North Texas and had no family nearby.
The McKinney couple enrolled their daughter and son at the Spanish school in Frisco, which opened in 1999.
âI was trying to find a way to instill the culture and the language in my kids, and I knew I couldn’t do it on my own,â Ann said. “For me, Spanish has always been a language of love, a language of compassion because it was something my grandparents spoke.”
Their children thrived at school learning Spanish through games, songs and chatting with other children.
The year their son graduated from preschool, Spanish Schoolhouse began offering franchise opportunities.
Although Rafael and Ann are both engineers and neither of them have owned a business or worked in education, they made the decision to be one of the top five franchisees due to from their personal experience with Spanish Schoolhouse.
In 2009, they opened Spanish Schoolhouse in McKinney.
Their first year, the Spanish Immersion Preschool started with 12 students. This year they started the school year with 135 students.
The staff are all native Spanish speakers from different Latin American countries such as Mexico, El Salvador, Colombia, Spain and more.
The age of the pupils varies from 18 months to 4 years. 80% of them are non-Spanish speaking families, 10-15% have a Spanish-speaking parent at home but do not speak primarily Spanish, and 5-10% of families are native Spanish speakers and speak Spanish at home.
When students arrive at school, immersion in Spanish begins with greetings from âBuenos Diasâ and âÂ¿CÃ³mo estÃ¡s? In their classes, they focus on essential preschool programs such as fine and gross motor skills, math, science, and language.
âOne of the parents said it best: ‘I love it because my child is learning the basics and the icing on the cake is that he is learning it in a different language,â said Ann.
Spanish School McKinney Campus
2421 Virginia Parkway, McKinney
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 7 am-6pm