Educator opens Academy of Language and Arts |

Educator opens Academy of Language and Arts

Provided to the TribuneNew business owner Leigh-Ellen Yarbrough has opened the Academy of Language and Arts to teach Spanish to South Lake Tahoe children.

What began as Spanish classes at a local play space in 2008 has expanded to become the Academy of Language and Arts, led by local teacher Leigh-Ellen Yarbrough.

Yarbrough’s classes begin this week for the preschool program at the South Lake Tahoe Recreation Center, and will be held at Sierra House Elementary School beginning Jan. 25.

The academy’s mission is to teach Spanish in a stimulating environment with encouragement, reinforcement and enthusiasm, she said.

“Children are like sponges,” Yarbrough said. “They participate easily and are interested in trying new activities. This is what makes learning a language at a young age easier and more fun.”

The program is for children age 3 to 17, and Yarbrough encourages children as young as 3 to start the program at the recreation center. Children in grades kindergarten through fifth grade may take classes at Sierra House Elementary but don’t need to be a student at that school to participate.

She also offers classes for the Vision home school program and tutoring and private instruction for middle school and high school students.

“We hope that in the near future, this program will be partially or fully funded by grants and fundraisers,” she said. “Many more children would be able to take part in the program if the cost was lessened partially or completely.”

Yarbrough holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master of arts in education. She is a former teacher at Lake Tahoe Community College, Lake Tahoe Montessori and St. Theresa School.

Call (530) 208-8216 or visit

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