My Mochila, Spanish on the Go! Multicultural books, lessons, global citizenry and more…

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My Mochila: Spanish on the Go! is a monthly curated box of Spanish language content and educational support for monolingual, heritage speakers, bilingual parents, teachers and educators.  Mochila means backpack in Spanish and it will open worlds to various learning opportunities.

*Each month your lesson plan of 18 activities will include:

         Literacy: Listening, Speaking, Reading & Writing

         Literature: Your child will receive a Spanish book to compliment themes

         Music: Your child will receive a Spanish CD

         Arts & Crafts: Everything needed to complete the project

         Parent Resources: Additional support & lessons  

 

The program is designed to assist adults teach Spanish with the help of culturally diverse materials, lesson plans and ongoing support from the My Mochila: Spanish on the Go! team. It provides children with authentic and relevant Spanish language books and lessons. Personally chosen multicultural literature, music, crafts and items are chosen to engage students in cross-curricular lessons while learning Spanish. The best part is that all materials needed will be delivered to their doorstep. It is sure to inspire a lifelong love of language learning and appreciation for cultural diversity.   

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Irma Vazquez, founder of My Mochila: Spanish On The Go! is reinventing what multicultural education and Spanish language learning in the early childhood and elementary years looks like.  My Mochila: Spanish on the Go! provides students with authentic culturally relevant items designed by indigenous groups throughout Latin America and Spain. My Mochila’s partnerships will provide sustainable wages to the countries the students are learning about.  By forging interconnected relationships with the artisans themselves, children and their families will further extend their global citizenship. My Mochila can be transformed from a Spanish language teaching tool to a collection of authentic multicultural heirlooms that can be passed down to future children and grandchildren for years to come.

Irma Vazquez has transformed multicultural and bilingual education. Irma possesses over two decades of hands on classroom teaching experience, including multicultural and second language instruction. She is also the co-founder and current owner of My Escuelita: Spanish For Kids.   She currently serves as a board member of the LMU School of Education Alumni Association. In 2012, Irma supported the launch of the first Southbay California Dual Language Immersion Program as a kindergarten teacher within the Redondo Beach Unified School District. In 2015, Irma was awarded the winner of the Latino Start Up Alliance Small Business Plan “Soy Empresaria” and has been prominently featured in South Bay Magazine. She was nominated for the 2015 National Latina Business Women’s Association “Woman in Excellence” Award and is an active member of the small business community in her local neighborhood. In addition, Irma acts as an expert teacher advisor and early childhood consultant with Little Ripples Preschool in Darfur, Africa and sits on the advisory board for Learning Rights in Los Angeles. She mentors and trains bilingual and general education students in the Elementary & Secondary credential program at Loyola Marymount University.

 

My Mochila: Spanish on the Go! is starting a Kickstarter campaign from November 2 – November 16. Here is the direct link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2106982487/675403170?token=8b927fd2

 

We are excited about this great opportunity to support language learning as well as supporting artisans in and around Latin America.

For more information please visit:

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Inspiration for New Bilingual Picture Book – Monster Slayer

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I have been reading and rereading my latest bilingual picture book – MONSTER SLAYER. The illustrations are gorgeous and brilliantly done by Lina Safar. I am looking forward to sharing this book with my friends and family. My good friend and founder of My Escuelita: Spanish for Kids, is hosting the book release and signing party on Saturday, February 6th, 2015.

As with any product that is created and shared, some will think it is a great book, some will think it is just OK, and others will loudly say, no gracias. But I am beginning to understand this “game”, and for this reason I have to remember the inspiration behind Monster Slayer, my little sister.

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My little sister is two years younger than me and I always used my “smartness” to her advantage. I was seven years old and she was five. I knew how to read, she didn’t. I knew how to do many more things and always let her know, one way or another, that I was the “big sister”. But as adults, oh how things have changed. My little sister is my best friend, my teacher of many things and my rock. Whenever I have needed direction, she has always been there to lead the way. Whenever I have needed reassurance, she has cheered me on, and when I have faltered, she has gently helped me pick up the pieces.

My little sister, or Poka, as she is lovingly called, is one of the best gifts that I have ever received. Little sister, thank you so much for being a living example of beauty, grace, kindness, love and laugher. I can’t believe that growing up, I tried to get rid of you on numerous occasions. I am beyond blessed to have you here on this journey…

“Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister.”– Alice Walker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy One Year Anniversary My Escuelita! An interview with the founder – Irma Vázquez

myescuelitaOn September 8th, 2013, My Escuelita celebrated its grand opening in Redondo Beach, California with an enthusiastic group of family members, colleagues and community members.  My Escuelita: Spanish For Kids was co-founded by Irma Vázquez as a means of providing quality Spanish instruction to young children through art, play, exploration, dance, yoga, music and literature.

Many moons ago, Irma would say she wanted to open her own preschool.  Steadfast on making her dreams a reality, she pasted this quote on a red folder and never looked back.

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back– Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now. 

― William Hutchison Murray

And today, many moons later we gather together in celebrating My Escuelita’s one year anniversary.

It’s been a year since you opened the Redondo Beach site for My Escuelita. How has this year been?

In one one word, magical! It has been a journey like no other – Bringing families together, teaching young children, hosting cultural events, solidifying my own teaching pedagogy, building community around a very tiny 500 square feet of space.

Briefly tell me your personal goal or mission for My Escuelita?

My goal is to inspire and assist families on the road to learning a second or third language. My mission is to help families embrace not only Spanish as a language, but as a gateway into the abundance of the culture.

What’s been the most memorable moment thus far?

My grand opening on my 45th birthday in September 2013 was the most memorable because My Escuelita was packed with people who have supported me on this journey. The smiles on the children, my proud family and all of my friends made the day and birthday extra special!

What are some of the challenges?

Some of the challenges as any business owner would say is running a business. I love teaching and being an entrepreneur. It is not only exciting but keeps you super super busy.  Balancing my passion for teaching students and being the boss has been the most challenging part of having my own space. But I have found an abundance of support in both the teaching and business community…and that has made all the difference.

What would you like your community to know?

I would like my community to know that everything I do, from teaching to developing curriculum is done with love for children and a deep desire to offer the best practices in language learning. I also want my community to know that my language teaching practices comes from the interest of their own child. Lastly, I would like my community to know that I am a parent first.  And as a parent I know they want their child to be cared for, respected and creative.

How do you find inspiration to keep going?

My family and friends are my village and they support me unconditionally. The community of teachers, artists, musicians, etc. that have come to My Escuelita this year continue to inspire me. But at the end of the day what inspires me the most are the students I teach. They encourage creativity, passion and a yearning to do my very best each and every day.

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Congratulations again on providing a community where the richness and vastness of the Spanish language and it’s diverse culture can be explored and celebrated!

My Escuelita will have an Open House on Saturday, October 11th, 2014.

My Escuelita: Spanish for Kids

1603 Aviation Blvd. #7

Redondo Beach, CA 90278 

irma.myescuelita@gmail.com

http://www.myescuelita.com

http://www.facebook.com/myescuelitaspanishforkids

http://www.twitter.com/myescuelita