bilingual bridges

about us

Discover the "why" behind Bilingual Bridges

How Bilingual Bridges Began

The mission of Bilingual Bridges is to deliver high-quality bilingual education to the fingertips of language learners everywhere. Today, the Bilingual Bridges team spans nearly every continent and offers bilingual math, reading, and foreign language classes to students of all ages. Bilingual Bridges is made up of 55+ certified bilingual teachers from around the world and has served thousands of students students since opening in 2017.

In addition to offering private language lessons to families, Bilingual Bridges partners with K-12 schools, state governments, and organizations to bring bilingual math and reading tutoring to low-income English learners. Live, online bilingual classes are available to students in 10 languages, including: English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic, American Sign Language (ASL), Burmese, and Haitian Creole.

Where Can English Learners Find Support?

Bilingual Bridges was opened in 2017 by an Alaskan bilingual teacher, Kelly Minks, who was frustrated by the lack of support available to English learners in her school and across the United States. From limited access to quality curriculum, bilingual materials, and qualified instructors, to a widespread insensitivity toward the needs of English learners, Kelly knew that changes were needed in education. 

Below are two of the questions Kelly began asking her colleagues and school administrators, which were often met with shoulder shrugs, eye rolls, and frustration:

  1. Beyond the dwindling numbers of school-based bilingual programs in the United States, where could the growing number of English learners find academic support inn their native languages and English?
  2. If English learners don’t have access to bilingual tutors, family members, or friends, who could help them understand difficult homework assignments in English?

Kelly decided to create a solution beyond the walls of a K-12 school building. She built an online tutoring platform that could connect language learners with bilingual teachers through live, online tutoring lessons via Zoom (before the world was ‘Zooming’!). Kelly formed a small team of like-minded bilingual educators who, together, leveraged their knowledge and experiences to launch Bilingual Bridges.

kelly minks bilingual bridges

Meet Our Founder

Kelly Minks has 14 years of experience delivering in-person and online instruction, focusing on: English as a Second Language (ESL), Spanish as a Second Language, Spanish as a Heritage Language, foundational literacy, accent training, and K-6 bilingual education. Kelly has worked with students of all ages, from kindergarteners to retirees. 

Kelly holds an M.Ed. in Bilingual Bicultural Education from DePaul University, a B.S. in Human Development & Family Sciences, a B.A. in International Studies, Illinois and Indiana teaching licenses, and a CELTA teaching certificate from the University of Cambridge. In addition to teaching in public and private schools, Kelly has led the development of ESL and bilingual programs in diverse, urban school districts in Chicago and Indianapolis. 

Kelly’s passions for language, culture, social welfare, and education have led her to live, volunteer, and teach around the world, in countries such as Argentina, South Korea, Vietnam, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, and India.

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