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VPM Announces Mechanicsville Teacher as Early Learning Champion

Woman in shirt with floral pattern smiling
Claudia Robles Arias, 2019 PBS Early Learning Champion

VPM, Virginia’s home for public media, announced Claudia Robles Arias, owner and teacher at Bilingualkid Language Immersion School in Mechanicsville, Va., has been selected as a 2019 PBS Early Learning Champion. Established in 2018, this awards program recognizes committed educators who work with young children, from infants to second graders, and offers a variety of community building, leadership and professional learning opportunities provided by VPM and PBS KIDS.

“Ms. Claudia is a shining example of the wonderful early educators in communities throughout Virginia. We are inspired by her commitment to children and their families, and her creativity in using language to bring cultures together,” said Mary Jo Grieve, VPM Director of Early Childhood Education.

Robles, a native of El Salvador, was nominated for the award by VPM for her unique approach to teaching Spanish to young children through immersion. She often includes books and resources featuring beloved PBS characters in her curriculum, which establishes essential skills and knowledge for children to be successful in kindergarten. Children are learning in Spanish from their first day at the school and through natural exposure to the language, they become bilingual and biliterate by four years old. Noted for her warmth in the classroom, Robles said that her goal is “to give kids a multicultural and diverse view of the world and to help raise compassionate world citizens.”

The PBS KIDS Early Learning Champions program includes various early learning caregivers – certified Pre-K, Head Start and early elementary teachers, childcare providers as well as family, friends and neighbors in early learning settings – representing, celebrating and supporting the diverse teaching community impacting young learners. With support from PBS KIDS and local PBS stations, including VPM, they will explore unique in-person and digital experiences, forge pathways for their own professional growth, build meaningful relationships with peers from across the country, create content and develop and implement their ideas in their communities and classrooms.

Media Contact:
Benae Mosby
(804) 560-8220
bmosby@vpm.org