Authentic Institute of Montessori Partners with SonrisaLandia to help build Bilingual Montessori Programs
October 30, 2023
Every so often, the stars align, and the right opportunity presents itself at the perfect moment. Last spring, an email appeared in my inbox from Amanda Armstrong, a woman with a passion for bilingual education and a vision for creating a Montessori-inspired, Spanish Immersion Preschool. Little did I know that her message would mark the beginning of an incredible journey and a powerful collaboration.
Amanda's email arrived just as I was contemplating how to embark on the translation of our Early Childhood Program into Spanish. As we connected over a call, it became immediately clear that we shared a common vision, and our organizations could mutually benefit from each other's knowledge and energy. Within an hour, we had a solid plan in place, ready to bring our shared vision to life.
Amanda brought a wealth of experience in Project Management and the Localization industry to the table, making her a valuable asset in securing a contract with Schwa Translations, a woman-owned Mexican Language Service Provider, for the translation of our program. With the translation process underway, Amanda turned her attention back to her passion project: establishing Montessori schools in North Texas.
SonrisaLandia, the brainchild of Amanda and her husband Andrew, was born from their experiences as parents raising three young boys in an English-speaking household. Their journey began when their children attended Spanish immersion preschools in Houston, where they witnessed the incredible benefits of bilingualism. Their move to Arlington in 2022 revealed a gap in Spanish language education opportunities in their neighborhood. Determined not to be limited by existing resources, they decided to create SonrisaLandia.
Their dream was to provide a nurturing, bilingual environment for children, offering a Montessori-inspired, Spanish Immersion Preschool that not only teaches a second language but also fosters love and safety in both indoor and outdoor settings.
Anna Chapa, the Director of SonrisaLandia, shared Amanda's fervor for Spanish language education and Montessori methods. With a background in preschool education, she had a chance meeting with Amanda through their involvement with Arlington Texas Independent School District's Fine Arts and Dual Language schools. Anna is well underway in her own Early Childhood Montessori Training with AIM and is excited to lead SonrisaLandia.
As part of this exciting partnership, the teachers at SonrisaLandia will be among the first cohort of our Early Childhood Spanish course. This initiative ensures that all SonrisaLandia teachers, many of whom are native Spanish speakers, can achieve a high level of proficiency in Montessori methods.
This partnership is coming at the perfect time, as we've witnessed a growing demand for high-quality Montessori training in Spanish. We are deeply grateful to have established this collaboration and are thrilled to announce the release of the Spanish translation of our Early Childhood Montessori training course in March 2024.
The translation process preserves the essence and depth of the original course while tailoring it for Spanish-speaking educators and parents. It empowers a broader audience with the knowledge and tools needed to create nurturing, stimulating, and developmentally appropriate environments for young children.
The translated course will cover an array of topics, including Montessori philosophy, child development principles, practical life skills, sensorial education, language development, mathematics, cultural studies, and much more. Participants can look forward to an immersive learning experience, staying true to Maria Montessori's educational approach.
This partnership between SonrisaLandia and The Authentic Institute of Montessori is poised to bring Montessori-inspired bilingual education to Texas and beyond. Together, we are prepared to make a significant impact on the education landscape, nurturing a new generation of culturally enriched, bilingual learners. The future is bright, and we can't wait to see the incredible educational journey that lies ahead.
Learn more about our Spanish Early Childhood Course here.
Passionate about supporting Montessori educators in their journey, Carolyn has been an active contributor to Montessori schools since 2013. Her roles have included serving as a marketing and admissions coordinator, a board member, and a volunteer. At home she has the honor of raising two fiercely independent children who began their Montessori journey as infants. Her husband holds a Montessori Secondary Credential and has led and founded Montessori adolescent programs in Ohio and South Carolina. Carolyn has been promoting Montessori education as part of the AIM team since 2022.