Join 1,000 Parents for Bilingual Education
Help Fund MamaLingua Go!
On July 27, 2020, the MamaLingua team launched our crowdfunding campaign on Fundly! The campaign was created to help fund our new app, MamaLingua Go!, a learning platform that supports bilingual learning at home.
While COVID-19 has caused the closing of schools and businesses, the demand for high-quality education apps and digital resources has increased exponentially. At the same time, large-scale investment in new technical solutions has slowed. The 1,000 Parents for Bilingual Education campaign will provide funds to help us build out functionality in our new platform, which supports bilingual learning for kids 0-8 with varied levels of fluency and interests.
The campaign also serves to help us build an even stronger community of supporters and advocates to create a force for advancing bilingual education across the United States, especially in Hispanic communities where interest in the heritage language is strong.
MamaLingua CEO, Aileen Passariello-McAleer, says, “Through world language education, we will bring our communities together, build pride among our students, break language barriers that exist in our society and empower all families to support a bilingual education. A bilingual, biliterate and bicultural individual is an individual who is prepared to succeed and unify this nation.”
Donors contributing $100 and above become MamaLingua Trusted Advisors, with benefits including early access to platform releases and a free year-long subscription.
What Is Bilingual Education and Why Is It Important?
While the delivery differs between programs, bilingual education refers to the teaching of academic content in two languages. Over the past 10 years, demand for bilingual education has increased significantly across the country, with primary growth in Spanish and English offerings. Utah has a statewide initiative to advance bilingual education, followed by widespread program implementations across Texas, California and New York.
These implementations have proven effective in closing the academic gap among children from varied backgrounds, elevating the academic success of both English Language Learners (ELLs) as well as native English speakers. Bilingualism is now understood as an asset, fueling program demand from parents who recognize the ability to speak multiple languages is a strength to be leveraged in school and beyond. Studies have shown that bilingual students have lifelong advantages, not only in their literacy development, but in the development of problem-solving skills and other areas of cognition.
Aileen notes, “What we see now is that bilingualism is a gift that we can give to our students and to our communities. That’s a powerful shift in our historical perspective on bilingualism.”
There are also additional benefits to families and individual learners, says Aileen. “Aside from proven academic advantages, we also see how building on a child’s ability to speak a second language impacts their understanding and pride in themselves and their community,” she says. “I love the Nelson Mandela quote, ‘If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.’”
While interest in bilingual education continues to grow, the resources are still catching up. Parents and educators struggle to find the necessary means to support varied levels of fluency, learning styles and ages in bilingual classrooms. To fully see the benefits of this type of education, they need the right resources in place to be successful.
“We know that education is our path to equality and opportunities in this country,” says Aileen. “Through our platform, MamaLingua Go!, we can continue to close the achievement gap by empowering all students with rich bilingual content to help them wherever they are in their language journey. Everyone benefits from bilingual education.”
At MamaLingua, our four female founders are also parents who have invested in bilingual education for our own kids, and we recognize the challenges in supporting children in their language development.
“We see the lack of resources in our classrooms and the absence of rich, diverse content for learning. Teachers are constantly making their own products to support the needs of their students, when they should be free to focus on teaching the content,” says Aileen. “For our children to successfully become bilingual and biliterate,” she says, “we need to have the right tools in place in the classroom and empower parents to support bilingual learning at home.”
As COVID-19 has caused the closing of schools and businesses, the demand for high-quality education apps and digital resources has increased exponentially. Now, more than ever, as schools begin to rely more on digital platforms, parents and teachers need digital solutions that can support bilingual learning beyond the classroom.
MamaLingua Go! was created to answer this need, says Aileen. “As native, non-native and first-generation Spanish speakers, we found ourselves challenged to support what our kids were learning at school. Now parents can use MamaLingua Go! to support a bilingual education at home.”
Building on the success of our first app, our team has been working closely with educators and parents to develop the new MamaLingua Go! platform to align our content with educational standards and language development milestones for kids from 0-8.
We're in the process of testing our app for launch and we invite users to help us test it and provide feedback. “We’re excited to have parents, teachers and kids begin using the beta version of our MamaLingua Go! app. With their help, we can continue to build on what we’ve created.”
Further functionality and enhanced content is the focus of the Fundly campaign, says Aileen. “Our crowdfunding campaign will help us build additional capabilities into the platform to enable audio stories, audiobooks, read-aloud books and music. These features help support pronunciation, comprehension and vocabulary as a child expands their repertoire in their second or native language.”
“There’s so much enthusiasm for what we’re doing among parents, teachers and administrators” says Aileen. “They’ve been asking for what we’re creating. It’s exciting to see the need and to empower our communities with the solution,” she says.
Supporters and advocates can donate to the MamaLingua Go! 1,000 Parents for Bilingual Education Fundly campaign at https://fundly.com/1000-parents-for-bilingual-education.
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