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Bilingual Buds names Director for NJ campus; announces expansion plans to Grade 5

Bilingual Buds

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 • 3:06pm

Bilingual Buds, a preschool/primary school on the forefront of immersion education, has named Renee Reyes to head its Summit, NJ campus. The school, known for its pioneering approach to academics in an immersion setting, will grow to Grade 5 under her leadership.

“It is thrilling to be part of a successful school where learning is ignited,” said Ms. Reyes. “Students as young as 2 ½ speak proficiently and effortlessly in the target language. The immersion environment, which includes instruction in English and Spanish or Mandarin Chinese, adds a remarkable dimension to what takes place in the classrooms, and throughout the school.”

Ms. Reyes has over 20 years’ experience in the field of education, working with students from preschool through Grade 8. Most recently Ms. Reyes served as interim Principal in the District of Columbia public school system, and as Lower School Director at Kingsbury Day School, a nationally recognized private school in Washington, D.C. In addition to both administration and teaching positions, her background includes serving as Director of two educational programs operated by the Commonweal Foundation, and working for the Maryland State Department of Education as an education specialist. She brings a wealth of experience to mentoring and training teachers, partnering with parents, and meeting students’ diverse needs. Ms. Reyes holds a M.Ed from Goucher College.

“Bilingual Buds is a unique community that was in search of a unique leader,” said school Founder Sharon Huang. “Ms. Reyes embraces the best practices that our school values, including multi-sensory, inquiry-based instruction that is attuned to how an individual child learns best. She brings a warmth and electricity to the position, and her background in gifted education will also be well served.”

Founded in the spring of 2005 as an early preschool program, Bilingual Buds has continued to grow, adding elementary school grades in step with its oldest students. “The sentiment from the parent community has always been to keep going,” said Ms. Huang. “They want the option for their children to stay, for academic as well as for proficiency reasons.” With the expertise of the leadership team, now headed by Ms. Reyes, the school will offer Grade 4 this fall and Grade 5 in 2014.

The school has already achieved some noteworthy results, including several first and second grade students reaching advanced proficiency levels on the Student Oral Proficiency Assessment, created by the Center for Applied Linguistics.

“I founded the school because I strongly believe in the benefits of bilingualism—its long-term effects on how we connect, how we communicate, and how we think,” said Ms. Huang. “Bilingual Buds’ students will navigate the world, literally or figuratively, with the mental ‘fuel’ of knowing two languages. It’s the kind of preparation that is truly transformative.”

Bilingual Buds will host an Open House for prospective parents on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 from 9:15 – 10:15 AM. Please contact the school for details: (908) 598-8088.

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