A Spanish-Immersion Early School for Children in San Francisco
Explore Curiosities/ Explorar Curiosidades
Here at Banana Fana, we believe in “active participatory learning,” which is part of the HighScope Curriculum (www.highscope.org for more information)
Children are able to learn through direct, hands-on experiences with people, objects, events, and ideas in Spanish and English. Students at Banana Fana preschool impact their own learning by interacting with different materials, each other, and the teachers. Our teachers offer emotional and intellectual support to the students, but also allow children to make and pursue their own decisions. Teachers thus expand children’s thinking with diverse materials in the classroom and nurturing interactions. We help children become more independent, responsible, and confident. This helps them to be ready for school and ready for life.
Why “Banana Fana” as the school name? Gloria was inspired to launch her own in-home preschool out of her desire to build a career that allows her more time to be with her son, Isaiah. As such, Gloria wanted a name that is also inspired by Isaiah. When Isaiah was born, Gloria and her husband Dickmar would sing The Name Game to Isaiah (“Isaiah, Isaiah, bo-baya, Banana-fana -fo-fayah, Fee-fy-mo-mayah, Isaiah!”). Til this day, Gloria and Dickmar call Isaiah their “Isaiah Bobaya”, and thus Banana Fana was born. Today, during circle time, Gloria and her students sing The Name Game and it is proven to make every child smile.
We are currently are enrolling for Fall. Ask us about our enrollment tuition special!
Join the Banana Fana community in four easy steps:
1. Explore our website
We’ve provided information about our philosophies and offerings to help you decide if our program may be right for your family.
2. Tour the school
Come see what makes Banana Fana unique. Please schedule a tour by filling out the “Schedule Tour” form.
3. Submit an Enrollment Application
If you would like to enroll, please submit an application at www.wonderschool.com/bananafana/apply – Please note that we require tours for all prospective families. Do not submit an application if you have not toured.
After reviewing your application, we’ll send an enrollment invitation. Upon accepting your invitation, you’ll pay your deposit (usually equal to one month’s tuition), fill out enrollment documents and review our Parent Handbook.
Banana Fana Preschool is located in a home in the Park Merced complex. Park Merced was built in the early 1940’s. The community itself is very family friendly. At Banana Fana, we offer a home like environment with an educational twist. Children will have their dramatic play area, their toy section, if they are feeling artistic they will have an art area, or if the just want some peace and quiet they can in the literacy corner.There is a large park directly across the street from the school and children will have opportunities to play there during playtime.Banana Fana is an in-home preschool—“home” is at the essence.
Use of Spanish in the classroom/ Uso del Español en el aula
Research shows that young children are uniquely suited to learning a second language and there are many developmental benefits that arise from learning language at a young age. Gloria wants Isaiah to grow up speaking both Spanish and English and she often speaks to him in Spanish. As such, she has designed her curriculum at Banana Fana to involve a mix of English and Spanish language and provides opportunities for all the children to learn and engage with Spanish. For children who are already exposed to Spanish, Gloria and her team speak Spanish about 90-100% of the time with those children. For children who are not previously exposed to Spanish, Gloria starts off with Spanish yet translating in English. Once the children have been exposed to the Spanish language more, she and her team speak “El Español” to the students . Gloria is passionate about the Latin Culture and music. At Banana Fana, children are exposed to the Spanish language through “musica” throughout the day and they sing and dance while hearing great Spanish nursery rhymes.
Our goal is to provide a program that is like a second family for your children and we hope to have close relationships with the parents. While we ask that parents do not stay past drop-off each day as that can disrupt transitions, we do welcome parent volunteers in the classroom. Parents have the option to volunteer one day in the classroom every 2 months. Please let Gloria know if you are interested in helping in the “classroom”.
Gloria Morales Nova
Director and Head Teacher
Gloria is a San Francisco Native who was born and raised in the Ocean View neighborhood. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with a Minor in Criminal Justice from San Francisco State University. She has also completed some courses in Early Child Education From City College of San Francisco. In addition to caring for her own son, Isaiah, Gloria has over ten years of experience in caring for children. Gloria has a “child-like” soul which allows her to play, sing, and dance with children. She believes children are so curious and that curiosity brings her so much joy. Her mother and father were born in Managua, Nicaragua which allowed Gloria to grow up in a Nicaraguan culture at home. Gloria has traveled to Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Peru, Costa Rica and Mexico where she fell in love with the vibrant colors and has brought each country’s culture into her classroom.
We will be joined in the classroom by Babaloo, our sweet cat. Babaloo is curious and shy, but can be loving and fun once he warms up. He will be a member of the classroom, although mostly off on his own upstairs.
We are a proud member of the Wonderschool network.
Wonderschool is a group of early childhood programs that combine the quality standards of the best child care centers with the warmth of an in-home program in your neighborhood.