Friday, July 11th - Explorers and Animal Rescuers Day - All the children will participate in an Amazon themed treasure hunt inside the classroom.

Wednesday, July 16th- Circulo en la Jungla/Rainforest Circle of Friends (special circle time celebration)

Friday, July 25th- Beach Ball Game Day/Dia de Juegos de la Playa

Thursday, July 31st- Dia de Sombrero Loco con Lentes del Sol/Crazy Hat and Sunglasses Day

¡Hola a todos! We are so excited to launch the HOLA NYC summer program with all of our friends, new and old. This newsletter provides an overview of the activities we have planned for July.

Themes of the Month

  • July 7th – July 18th: The Amazing Amazon

The Amazon rainforest contains amazing biodiversity. We will embark on a journey to the Amazon, where we will discover the fascinating animals, birds, and reptiles that live in this beautiful region.

  • July 21th – August 1st: ¡Vamos a la Playa!

We’ll have a great time at the beach, learning about the abundant sea life and sand creatures. Music, games, and water activities will take us on a surfing adventure! Come join us and catch the next big wave!


HOLA Teachers have varying schedules to ensure that our teacher: student ratio is maintained throughout the entire day. Guia Marcia or Guia Stormy are available in the classroom for any questions regarding the daily program and activities.


· Maria Herminia Graterol, Executive Director

Maria Herminia is from Venezuela and holds several degrees (LLB Univerisdad Catolica Andres Bello, LLM Columbia University and MPA Harvard Kennedy School of Government). Despite these degrees, her most challenging role has been raising bilingual twins in NYC! As one of the co-founders and representatives of a very inspiring group of parents that initiated HOLA NYC, Maria Herminia contributes her expertise in non-profit management to the growth and self-sustainment of our little school. She hopes to be able to build-up and power-up this little house of learning.

Oriana and Rafaela already love HOLA NYC and our family is proud to be part of this community!

· Marcia Spinelli, Co-Lead Teacher

Marcia, originally from Ecuador, has a Masters of Education and has been working as a Spanish and Early Childhood educator for many years. Her extensive experience includes two years in a Montessori setting, various public and private schools and Bilingual Buds Spanish Immersion School for children ages 2 to 6 years. As a native Spanish speaker, Marcia she is passionate about teaching children another language and witnessing the multitude of benefits that bilingualism provides. Marcia looks forward to imparting her knowledge to the HOLA NYC students. She is excited to be working with your child and looks forward to this year to stimulating your child's interest in Spanish.

· Stormy Vallejo, Co- Lead Teacher/Administrative Director

Stormy, raised in a multicultural family and a bilingual household, speaks four languages (English, Spanish, Tagalog, Ilokano) and holds a Montessori Primary Teaching Certificate for children ages birth to six years old from the American Montessori Society. She also holds a primary Montessori certificate from the Montessori Teachers Training Center in San Leandro, California. Stormy is currently fulfilling the NYS Teacher’s Certification requirements.

Over the last ten years, Stormy has taught and directed in four Montessori schools around the country including: Bremerton, Washington, Walnut Creek, California, Mamaroneck, New York and most recently as Director of a bilingual Montessori preschool here in NYC. The experience of teaching in several different Montessori schools has given her a rich repertoire of Montessori lessons and a well-rounded view of developmentally appropriate practices for Early Childhood Education.

Stormy’s dedication to HOLA NYC is driven by her two boys, ages 4 years and 2 years. Raising her children to be bilingual, global citizens is a top priority for her family.

· Jimmy Cruz, Assistant Teacher

Jimmy, of Mexican decent, is a full time student in the Early Childhood program at the School of Education, City College. He will achieve a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and NYS initial teacher certification in 2015.

Jimmy’s has conducted fieldwork in several early childhood programs around the city and is excited to expand his knowledge in an immersion setting.

· Mary Grace Jimenez, Teacher’s Aide/Volunteer

Mary Grace, affectionately known as “Lala”, is a very special part of the HOLA NYC community. Lala volunteers her time to our classroom and brings her endless energy and infectious spirit into every activity that she is involved in. Her warm and loving nature nurtures all of our students. She has been officially adopted as everyone’s Grandma!


The enrichment team is composed of the teachers that will lead the extra curricular classes:

Monday afternoons: Ms Reiko from the Piano School of NY will be leading piano sessions

Tuesday mornings: Ms Laura Folque will be leading our dramatic play class ¨Aprendemos jugando y creando¨

Thursday mornings: Ms Mariana Iranzi will lead our ¨Musica y Ritmo¨class

Friday mornings: Coach Juan Pablo will lead our own Super Soccer Stars team.


Our plans for the summer

Throughout the summer the children will partake in children’s events at our local parks. This is an opportunity for the children to get to know their community, experience the performing arts and make friendships through exploration and discovery. Parents are always welcome and encouraged to attend these events. We will confirm with parents beforehand depending of weather conditions, availability of classroom volunteers, etc.

We are also planning visits for the Children´s Museum, the Planetarium and the Swedish Marionette Theatre. The full calendar of activities and outings will be sent to you at the end of the first week.


The Sandbox Events at Central Park is a showcase of dance, music, puppetry and storytelling. For the morning sessions (11:00am-12:00pm), we will leave HOLA promptly at 10:30am and return to school by 12:45pm. All students will eat lunch at the park after the event. We ask that all parents send a sack lunch for these trips. For morning class parents, please plan to pick-up your child at 12:45 pm on these days.

The afternoon sessions (2:00pm-3:00pm) will be attended by children that do not nap at HOLA. They will leave promptly at 1:30pm and return to the school by 3:30pm. For parents of class only children, please plan to pick-up your child at 3:30pm.

Teachers will email families to confirm the date and time of your child's fieldtrip.


Hippo Park is hosting a concert in the park series on Wednesday afternoons in July. We will leave HOLA at 3:30 pm and return by 5:00 pm. Full day parents should plan to pick up their children after 5:00 pm.

Teachers will email families to confirm the date and time of your child's fieldtrips.




HOLA provides a light snack during the morning work period and again in the afternoon after 3:00pm. Snack consists of at least two different food groups: fruit, veggie, grain, or dairy.

Parents provide lunch for their child/ren. We ask that all meals be balanced and nutritional and free of sugary treats. Teachers make sure that every child eats a good portion of their main course before eating their supplemental foods.


As we try and beat the summer heat, we will have water play in our patio and garden area as well as in Hippo Park. If your child does not want to participate in water activities, we also have a sandbox and garden area where they can explore.

Please make sure that your child has each of the following items in their cubby:

  1. Bathing suit
  2. Water shoes
  3. Towel
  4. Sunscreen (to be given to a teacher for safe keeping)

During the first week of summer camp, our patio and garden area will be closed due to some construction. Alternate plans will be made to ensure children play outdoors.


Tadpoles is HOLA’s parent-teacher communication system that is utilized for daily reports, notes, emergency alerts and more. Each child has their own profile where teachers will track their daily progress, activities, personal care, and pictures. We know you will enjoy taking a peek into your child’s daily life at HOLA NYC!