Brophy Teacher Works With Dodgers' Language and Culture Acclimation Program
There are few people as busy as Brophy Spanish teacher, Kim Baron. Besides being a full-time faculty member in the world languages department, she runs the popular co-curricular fitness program, AMDG Fit, and outside of school hours, she works for the Dodgers’ organization teaching English to young Spanish-speaking players who have been signed by the team.
This is why, on a recent Tuesday at Brophy, 15 minor-league baseball players currently training in the Dominican Republic spent a day on campus acclimating to life in the U.S. They visited Spanish classrooms where they practiced their English, spent some time in a cooking class during community period, visited with Brophy’s baseball team and ate lunch with the Hermanos Unidos in Harper Great Hall.
“They experienced as many things as they could,” said Ms. Baron. She continued, “It was a neat experience and both the players and the students really enjoyed sharing their culture and language. And their love of baseball!”
Ms. Baron noted that the young men had just recently arrived from the Dominican Republic for a week-long acclimation camp and an introduction to life in the U.S. as professional athletes. Players as young as 16 can sign so the players were roughly the same age as high school students — averaging 17-19 years old, according to Ms. Baron. “We teach them more than just the language,” she explained. “How to get groceries, order food, pay your taxes. This helps prepare them to be successful when they’re called up.”
Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz., is the home base for the Dodgers’ spring training program. Asked how she became a tutor in the franchise’s language and culture acclimation program, Ms. Baron explained that while working at her previous school, an assistant principal let her know that the Dodgers had reached out and were looking for a teacher for the program. She applied and got the job. Since then, she has also brought Ian Munro Pérez, the head of Brophy’s world languages department, on board as an instructor. “He’s a huge baseball fan!” she said. And what about the 2020 Dodgers World Series win? Yes, both have World Series rings!