Bee-lingual Bees: Teaching Spanish & Multicultural Awareness to Kids & Parents Too!
A few months ago, we hosted a networking mixer for female entrepreneurs at Boerne’s Salvador DOBBS. One of the lovely ladies I was fortunate to meet that afternoon was Liz Davila of San Antonio’s Bee-lingual Bees. Liz’s business concept—teaching the Spanish language and bringing a bit of multicultural awareness to kids and their parents—struck me as truly unique, so we’ve kept in contact ever since. Moreover, for the past couple of weeks, we’ve been working together to do something really fun: to bring Bee-lingual Bees to Boerne…and to do it for FREE for the mamas and kiddos who attend!
And thanks to local business owner Alicia Mendez of Maker’s Place, who graciously opened her doors to host us, we were able to do just that this past weekend. We played games, sang songs, and practiced rhythm with maracas and bells. Those kids had so much fun and they had absolutely no idea they were actually learning in the process!
Liz began our play date by going around the circle and welcoming every child by name, through Spanish song, of course! Then we rolled right into songs and games that taught directional words such as “up”, “down”, and “to the side”, and various body parts, thanks to the classic children’s song “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”. Our class consisted of about 40-minutes of structured play and a few minutes for some freestyle dancing too, which you can see in that adorable video above. Then we went around the circle one more time, to say our good-byes.
Sounds like a great time, right? I knew you’d think so! So, I sent a few interview questions over to Liz via email to ask all about her wonderful business and how she got started. Here’s what I found out:
Sowing Seeds (SS): Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your family?
Liz Davila (LD): My name is Lizbeth Davila, but I go by "Liz". My husband, Ben, and I have been married for about two-and-a-half years and we've been best friends since 1997—we met in junior high! We're both from Monterrey, Mexico. I moved here in 2005 with my parents and two sisters and have called San Antonio my home ever since. Except for its extraordinarily hot summers, I love everything about this city; the people, the culture, the history, the food...everything!
SS: How did Bee-lingual Bees come to be? What inspired you to do it?
LD: I used to work at a Spanish immersion school and I saw the increased interest of parents for their young children to learn Spanish. Some of the families shared that they were a little frustrated because their children would come home and try to speak Spanish to them, but they were not familiar with the language. I took notice of this and thought I could do something about it with parent-child classes, that way no one would be left behind. And that's how Bee-lingual Bees began!
Additionally, while children have been my inspiration in mostly all of my previous jobs and projects, our divisive political climate played a key part in developing Bee-lingual Bees as well. More than teaching Spanish, we want to teach young children about diversity and multicultural awareness: we want them to know that our differences make us special and unique and that there's nothing wrong with speaking a different language or having different customs or traditions. I believe that introducing children to other cultures and teaching them to learn from others is one of the best things we can do for their education and social-emotional development.
SS: And what previous educational and work history led you to where you are today?
LD: I have a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of the Incarnate Word and will begin working toward a Master's Degree next year! I have worked with children since 2007 as a Gymboree teacher, toddler teacher, Assistant Director at a daycare facility, and support group leader at the Children's Bereavement Center of South Texas. Currently, I serve as the Education Events Coordinator at KLRN's Department of Education.
SS: What's your favorite part about what you do?
LD: When families come to our classes for the first time and I see the children smiling, singing, dancing and having a good time. Children don't lie or pretend, so when you see them participating and enjoying the class, you know it is a genuine feeling. That, to me, is absolutely priceless and makes my heart very happy!
SS: Anything else you’d like to add?
LD: Sure! We want families to think of Bee-lingual Bees when they first decide to learn Spanish along with their children. Our program and play dates strive to provide a sense of community and to be a link for families who have an interest in teaching their children about multicultural awareness and diversity. Our mission is to encourage families to try new things, practice empathy, and to learn from the diverse populations that share the planet with us.
Bee-lingual Bees is a mobile program which means they bring the fun to you! Play dates are designed for children ages one through five and are $25 per family (one adult and one child). Discounts are available for booking a month of classes in advance and you can also SAVE $5 OFF YOUR FIRST PLAY DATE WITH THE MENTION OF THIS POST!
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NOTE: This post was written in partnership with Bee-lingual Bees.