- 2015: Mis Amigos Hopkins begins to provide childcare for infants.
- 2013: All three Mis Amigos locations are accredited by NAEYC.
- 2012: Begin to provide childcare for toddlers at the Hopkins location. Mis Amigos welcomes Lori Semke as Executive Director. Dawn Uribe becomes the CEO.
- 2011: Mis Amigos Minnetonka opens.
- 2010: Mis Amigos St. Paul opens.
- 2009: Mis Amigos begins to provide full-day care for their students.
- 2005: When the founders are ready to move to other projects, Dawn purchases Mis Amigos and becomes the Executive Director and CEO.
- 2003: Mis Amigos moves to Hopkins, MN. Dawn Uribe (current owner) begins her journey with Mis Amigos as her oldest son attends preschool.
- 2001: Mis Amigos was founded by two stay-at-home moms (former elementary school teachers) in Plymouth, MN who wanted to provide preschool in Spanish for their own kids. They began by offering half-day preschool only.
I grew up in Indiana and have always been fascinated by other cultures. My first Spanish class was my Freshman year of high school and I fell in love with both the language and the culture of Latin America. I have been a part of Mis Amigos Spanish Immersion Preschool since 2004 when my oldest child attended the Hopkins location. I love meeting people from all over the world and learning about their culture. So, in the summer of 2005, when the founders of the school decided to move on, it seemed like a perfect fit for me to become the owner and Executive Director.
I take great pride in the school that Mis Amigos is today. It’s a warm, nurturing environment—for both the children and the staff. Our staff are closely-bonded and that deep feeling of friendship– of family, really–permeates through everything we do, influencing the backdrop of the school and encouraging a feeling of a school family. Every day truly is a delight and a privilege for me. I get to work with dedicated, talented educators and also get to witness children growing in so many different ways. I especially LOVE seeing little kids speak another language—it’s such a gift!
I have been Executive Director at Mis Amigos for five years and I feel so blessed to have found this position at this wonderful school. I worked for 12 years in the legal field before coming to Mis Amigos. I spent 9 years as a litigator in a law firm followed by three years at the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, where I advocated for children in the foster care system.
After being able to dedicate my skills to helping kids in need, it was very apparent that I had a passion for child advocacy. As I considered the next steps of my career, I wanted to be sure it was doing something where I could continue making the world a better place for children. And I found that opportunity at Mis Amigos.
Every day, I get to be a part of our students’ education journeys as well as witness to their marvelous growth & development. Hearing their laughter bounce through the halls is a bonus! I am constantly energized by the joy I see on children’s faces and by the love and commitment our teachers give to their students. Mis Amigos is a wonderful place and it is so rewarding for me to be able to help the school grow and thrive!
Mission and Vision
“Giving Children the World”
We understand that most parents feel both excitement and trepidation about choosing a preschool for their child. We feel honored that you have chosen Mis Amigos for your family and consider it a privilege to be a part of your child’s education journey.
Each day, we aim to create an atmosphere that will encourage and empower your child with a love of learning. Our staff have created an exclusive curriculum based on years of training, experiences, and expertise that includes varied thematic learning activities and opportunities—all based in play– so that your child’s brain is constantly fed and never gets bored. We’re dedicated to building social & emotional skills as well as Kindergarten readiness, too. And it all just happens to be in Spanish!
But our school isn’t just about academics. Parents and staff alike emphasize our loving, nurturing, and supportive environment. It’s more than a school—it’s a school family. We celebrate with each other and we rally around each other. We grow closer in the hallways day by day and with family events throughout the year. With the help of our Parent Advisory Board, we work together to provide each child and their family with the best experience possible.
Learning another language is a gift you give your child. We believe (and research proves) learning a foreign language at a young age brings life-long benefits which extend far beyond the realm of language learning itself.* And at Mis Amigos, you’re not just giving your child another language, you’re giving them the world! Each week, we learn about different cultures and themes. We’re learning how we are different and how we are the same in the most natural and fun ways.
We love our school and our school family. So it’s no surprise to us that we have a 4-star Parent Aware rating (the highest possible!) and are accredited by the NAEYC. Please contact us to set up a tour or discuss why our school is just right for your family.
- We are Committed to Children and their Families First
In everything we say, think, or do, children come first. We are dedicated to providing a nurturing, inspiring, and safe learning environment for your child.
- We Pledge Quality Education from Nurturing, Experienced Educators
Our staff are some of the most wonderful people we know who happen to be experienced, gifted, loving educators. Short of unforeseen circumstances, your child will have the same teacher and/or caregiver for the entire school year at Mis Amigos. This consistency helps in the educational process as well as creates a bond between child and teacher.
- We are Devoted to the School as a Whole
Our commitment to an optimal learning environment doesn’t stop with education. We take care of the children, the families, and the staff. This dedication shapes the climate of the school and provides the foundation to make our school more than a place where families drop their child off to learn but rather, truly a school family.
- We Provide Flexibility for Families
We are a family-oriented atmosphere and understand that families with young children have unique, unexpected needs sometimes.
- We Are Honest, Respectful, Ethical & Professional
We pride ourselves on our exemplary educational environment and stellar staff. We expect the best from everyone involved in Mis Amigos Spanish Immersion Preschool & Childcare and we get exactly that. We practice integrity and have a foundation of trust. You are invited to drop in and view our classrooms any time without notice. You will find sincere, caring, talented teachers who are teaching happy, diverse, thought-filled children. And all of them are having fun!
- We Are Dedicated to Kindergarten-Preparedness
Our goal is to foster a love of learning in each child through fun, engaging, varied activities. While being immersed in Spanish language and culture, the children are also continually reinforcing their knowledge of letters, numbers, colors, and shapes and fine-tuning their motor skills through songs, stories, science, games, and play.
- We Provide a Full Immersion Education, Not Just Bilingual
We speak Spanish in our classrooms all of the time. The only exceptions are for emergencies. We believe this is the best way for your child to learn another language. All of our teachers are Native-Spanish speakers or have native-like fluency.
- We Are Powered by Play and Fun
We are committed to an environment that is nurturing & supportive, playful, and diverse. We play a lot—inside & outside. We have a weekly music class with songs, dancing, and drama. Daily, we enjoy lots of art projects, songs, games, story time, and of course, snacks! And we do it all while absorbing the Spanish language.
- We Ensure Safety
Whether at our school locations or on field trips, we meet and exceed safety standards & requirements to assure your child is always safe and secure.
- We Value Healthy Foods & Choices
We provide healthy, quality foods to nourish healthy minds & bodies. And we aim to teach children to make good food choices.
- We Are Eco-Conscious & Eco-Friendly and Socially-Conscious
We believe this world is not inherited from our ancestors, but rather, borrowed from our children. This guides all of our decision-making. For instance, we choose to re-purpose older buildings for our school locations–they may not be the flashiest, but they work perfectly for our needs and are rooted in the community. We also choose enviro-friendly products and services. We’re dedicated to providing a living wage for all employees. And we embrace & empower the diversity of our families, staff, and their cultures & backgrounds—it’s what makes our world rich. We’re proud of our daily choices and we’re always looking for more ways to better our best practices. We recycle, reuse, and repurpose whenever we can. And your children see all of this each day at school.
- We Are a School Family
Our school isn’t just about academics. We celebrate with each other and rally around each other. We grow closer in the hallways day by day and with family events throughout the year. With the help of our Parent Advisory Board, we work together to provide each child and their family with the best experience possible.
- We Value Parent Involvement
We make certain that families stay connected through weekly reports with pictures, vocabulary lists, and upcoming themes. Daily reports are sent to the families of infants and toddlers. We make regular assessments for all children and have semester conferences with families to discuss their child’s individual joys, accomplishments, and needs. We’re all in this together and are grateful to partner with your family on your child’s education journey.
Why should our family start immersion at the preschool level?
Research tells us that young children have an extraordinary capability to absorb another language. Experts estimate that by age 8-12, humans have already lost the ability to hear and say new sounds. Young brains are innately designed to acquire language. By taking advantage of the window of opportunity that exists between birth and adolescence, you allow your child to optimize his or her learning potential and speak the second language with a native accent. In addition to this benefit, studies show that young children who learn a second language enjoy many additional cognitive benefits, such as enhanced problem-solving skills, enhanced spatial relation skills, and heightened creativity. When children feel safe, comfortable, and enjoy their environment, they absorb their surroundings and learn naturally, without even realizing it.