PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — There's always lots of dancing and singing in Senora Brito's Spanish kindergarten class. Nivia Brito teaches a dual language class at Garrison-Jones Elementary, Pinellas County's only Spanish Immersion Elementary School.
- Nivia Brito is this week's A+ Teacher
- Brito teaches dual language class at Garrison-Jones Elementary
- More A+ Teacher headlines
- Want to nominate an A+ Teacher? Click here
Half the day is taught in English and the other half is in Spanish.
"If you notice we have words in blue for English and red in Spanish — all the way through the grade levels," Brito said. "For the students learning a second language, making those connections between blue and red comes very natural."
Brito is a native of Puerto Rico. She was raised in Brooklyn and a former legal assistant turned teacher.
“When I got into teaching I didn't know about dual language programs and it was just something that amazed me that I could use my dual language skills and help students succeed,” she said.
There is actually a waiting list to get into Garrison-Jones Elementary where kindergarteners also use BeeBop programmable robots to teach math skills. But it's the language diversity and teachers like Senora Brito and her English counterparts that are the big draw here.
Brito said as the students progress, the translation that goes on in their brains becomes more natural.
In the near future, carrying on conversations in two languages will be common place for these students in our ever increasing diverse society.