To generate entertaining experiences that will keep children interested in learning a new language, such as Spanish, through the use of play as the best strategy in teaching and learning.
The Maria’s Friends program will be recognized within the community as a space of fun social interaction that will facilitate the learning of the Spanish language through its main teaching method: TO LEARN BY PLAYING!
This project stems from my love for teaching and working with children. I am from Colombia, licensed in special education, and I worked for 16 years in my native country with children of various ages.
Upon arriving in New York with my daughter and in search of other life opportunities, I was given the chance to work in several places. I was a Spanish teacher at a daycare and also worked at a Spanish restaurant in Flatiron where few spoke Spanish, but I was able to meet great people who helped me learn the basic English I know. I worked there for 8 years, and I discovered another one of my passions; cooking. Finally, I received a job opportunity that brought us to Connecticut. Moving here was great all throughout, especially for my daughter because as a mom you want the best for your children and I knew the environment here was healthier and she would be attending a great school. My job as a house manager left me with a lot of free time that encouraged me to think of new ideas and made me miss my teaching days. I also started a part-time role as a caregiver where I met the little bundle of joy, Camila, that motivated me to consolidate my ideas into one project. I began babysitting Camila two days a week starting from when she was only three and a half months old. Her parents expressed their deep desire to continue with their learning of Spanish and have their daughter follow suit. Our daily routine consisted of Spanish songs in the morning, playing games in the afternoon and other activities throughout the day that have allowed Camila to learn new vocabulary that expands each day. Camila is now 2 years old and her level of Spanish comprehension is exceptional.