Jill Stribling is a new INC member who runs a bilingual school in Madrid. She has just opened pre-school for children to learn for ages 1 to 4 that follows the American education system. She reveals with INC members her passion for bilingual education that is often not found in pre-schools in Madrid. Tania is having an open house to introduce her pre-school program and has extended an invitation to all INC members.
When I look around at the life I have today, how blessed I am in my personal and my professional life, I sometimes wonder… How in the world did I end up here?!
So much of what I am doing now would have been so difficult to foresee 12 years ago.
I have a Degree in Psychology and Child Development and a Masters in Education by the University of California, and I came to Spain with a very definite plan to work at a school for 2 years. Afterwards, I would be on my merry way, exploring the world and eventually settling in my home state, California. Sound familiar..? Instead, during that time I fell in love and, like so many American women before me, I found myself settled in Spain.
After a few years here I realized there was a problem with the way English was being taught, and given my experience with the L.A. Department of Education I knew I had a lot to offer. I came up with my own teaching method, and in 2008 launched my business venture, English for Fun.
The English for Fun method is based on a natural language acquisition, through a fun and hands on approach that engages the 5 senses. In our workshops we sing, dance, cook, make crafts, play group games, use the smart board and role play. Most importantly we promote confidence and self-esteem, improving not only their fluency, but their lives. We want all our kids to KNOW that they are superstars and they can change the world!
I am fortunate to be able to say that my business went well, we have continued to grow and expand, even through the crisis, and we now have several business lines (camps, SAT/ American university prep, birthday parties, English for Work, Preschool, and workshops for all ages). I started with a few children in my living room, and now have a lovely children’s center located in Calle Darro 5 in Madrid and have expanded with an adult center nearby.
In the meantime, as I was growing my business, I was also growing my family. I have two beautiful children, Nicolas and Olivia, and through my concern for their education, I rediscovered a passion which gave way to what, in my opinion, is our newest and most exciting project, our American Preschool program!
As an educator I started off my career in Preschool, and I know how important it is for children at a Preschool age to be in a learning environment where they are engaged and stimulated, and they can develop independence and the social and life skills that will be of paramount importance throughout their lives.
I wanted my children to go to Preschool, and at the same time, living in a Spanish environment, I wanted to be sure my children would be bilingual.
But more than that, so much of what I love about the American education system, creative problem solving, critical thinking skills, emphasis on self-esteem and promoting independence, a hands on approach. This is not found in the curriculum of many of the best schools in the city especially in pre-school programs and certainly not in English.
For these reasons, I decided to create the Preschool that I wanted for my children. At English for Fun we have created a nurturing environment which fosters love of learning, with small groups, individual attention, and certified and native teachers. The program focuses on the child’s global development, and allows them to grow socially, physically, and intellectually, always while favoring a positive self esteem.
The curriculum follows California Standards & Frameworks (Go California!), and we are currently undergoing accreditation by NAEYC, the most prestigious Early Childhood association in the U.S.
We are just finishing our first year with a small group and have had amazing results! For 2014-2015 we will offer Preschool for ages 1 through 4, and our goal is to grow with them until age 6.
To all the young mothers out there, I encourage you to stop by and learn more about our Preschool. It is my pride and joy, I have put in all of my love and experience into creating this program and I know there is nothing better out there for your children.
We are offering a Preschool Open House next Tuesday April 29th at 1 PM for INC members. To register please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to meet a lot of you there!
English for Fun-El Viso, C/ Darro 5, 28002 Madrid. Telephone no. 914412233