This privately held Spanish school has been around since 2004 and plans to stick around for many more years to come.
“As the Toronto, North York, Thornhill and Richmond Hill communities continue to diversify and grow, there is an increased interest in parents ensuring that their children learn a second or even third language” says Veronica Citrino, co-founder of the Spanish Schoolhouse.
“We have clients with Mother tongues in Mandarin, Greek, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, English and French, among others. The common theme among our clients is that they want to learn Spanish for both personal and/or business growth. Travel to a Latin-speaking country is a common reason that people attend our school in person or on-line via Skype. Businesses with contacts in the USA or Spain and South America gain from our customized lessons and private tutorial sessions.”
Sandra Goldberg, the school’s other co-founder could not be more pleased with the community enthusiasm that shows itself day in and day out at the school. “We notice that parents are thrilled for their children to learn about the Spanish culture and language. I love to share the culture from my home country of Colombia.”
The first 13 years of The Spanish Schoolhouse has seen both Veronica and Sandra grow in their confidence to market their school to the community. “We have held community rallies, open houses and participated in Latin community cultural activities. As well, we have reached out to other language schools and private institutions for their support and guidance. When it comes to our children’s brain and social development, there is no stone that we will not turn over to achieve continued growth.”
Once launched in 2004, it has been a steady climb upwards for the school. With hard work and dedicated teachers from various Spanish-speaking countries, who all help their students to learn both Spanish and Spanish culture, students of all ages (from 1 to 91) graduate from the school with greater Spanish proficiency and a deeper appreciation of Spanish cultural practices.
After 13 years, the school’s various programs like their Spanish for TOTS, Spanish Kids camp and after-school and weekend programs have reached many families that have now grown children. Now, these same children from the same families are coming back for Spanish updates and tune-ups. “It is heart-warming for us to see these families keep in touch with us and give us that special vote of confidence, that they value our family-oriented and relaxed atmosphere where Spanish immersion occurs.”
Veronica Citrino has a lot more beautiful things for her and Sandra’s schoolhouse to offer the community at large. “When we see the children with their hands in the air, talking to each other in Spanish, smiling, singing in Spanish and dancing, it makes it all worthwhile. When I hear my adult students improve their confidence in speaking Spanish, then I smile inside too.”
13 years may seem like a long time for a private school to exist but for Veronica, the school’s existence and growth have mirrored the growth of her own children. “My two kids have grown up in this school where they interacted with the children attending the school.” Her eldest child has even tutored some students as well.
“This schoolhouse is necessary for the community. I would not have it any other way.”