Encantos, the award-winning B-Corp creating family entertainment education brands, today launched its new “Educator in Residence” initiative at the 49th annual conference of the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE). The Encantos Educators in Residence (EIR) program is a new initiative to recognize, support, and collaborate with exemplary educators around the world who are inspiring 21st century kids to learn 21st century skills. During NABE, Steven Wolfe Pereira, CEO of Encantos, announced that pioneering bilingual educator Irma Vazquez will be the first Encantos Educator in Residence, as of March 1st.
This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200226005211/en/
Irma Vazquez, Encantos Educator in Residence (Photo: Business Wire)
As an Encantos EIR, educators will participate in a 12-month program where Encantos will provide strategic, financial, and operational support for a research-based initiative of their choice tied to 21st century subject matter areas, including but not limited to: Learning skills including creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking; Literacy skills including language, numeracy, cultural, civic, digital, environmental, financial, health, and wellness, and STEAM; and Life skills including adaptability, curiosity, entrepreneurship, leadership, resilience, cross-cultural and social-emotional skills.
Irma Vazquez is a native Spanish-bilingual teacher raised by Puerto Rican parents with almost 30 years of classroom teaching experience. An award-winning educator with a BA and Master’s in Bilingual / Multicultural Education from Loyola Marymount University (LMU), Irma taught in the Lennox, California School District for over 15 years and has taught and mentored Bilingual and General Education student teachers at LMU since 2006 as an Adjunct Professor. She helped launch the first Southern California (South Bay) Dual Language Program at Washington School in the Redondo Beach Unified School District as a kindergarten teacher and founded the “My Escuelita, Spanish for Kids” program in Los Angeles, California.
“Irma is a true pioneer and has been on the front lines of bilingual education for years. In addition to her tremendous expertise, she has the elements of an Encantos Educator in Residence: learner-centered, entrepreneurial and purpose-driven,” Wolfe Pereira said. “I’ve followed her career for years, and I’m thrilled she’ll be joining the industry-leading team at Encantos, complementing our efforts to infuse innovation, creativity, and an entrepreneurial spirit into our Education team and our family brands.”
Encantos EIRs will also collaborate with Encantos executives, partners, and board advisors throughout the program to identify new and innovative ways to use the power of technology and entertainment to reimagine education in the direct-to-consumer age. Working closely with Encantos’ Curriculum and Learning Design, Creative and Technology teams, Vazquez will advise Encantos on the development of new and existing purpose-driven family brands that incorporate 21st century learning, literacy, and life skills. All Encantos EIRs will be a part of the Encantos Advisory Council (EAC), which brings together academics, researchers, practitioners, creatives, business executives, and technologists from a wide range of disciplines to support learner-centered education and inspire kids to develop the agency to drive their own learning for life.
“Teaching children and helping families raise global citizens in a multicultural educational arena is my life’s work,” said Irma Vazquez, Encantos’ first Educator in Residence. “Nothing in my almost 30 years of teaching has impacted my students and their community as much as bringing the world into my classroom. I am honored to work with Encantos on this new program and look forward to seeing what our combined efforts can produce.”
Increasingly, parents and educators are recognizing the benefits of being bilingual. Studies have shown that bilingual children were better at solving puzzles compared to monolingual children. A New York Times report on these studies declared that being bilingual “can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age.”
Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the world and Hispanics are the largest racial or ethnic minority group in the United States making up 18% of the population. At nearly 60 million people, the United States has the second-largest Latino population in the world after Mexico and it is larger than countries such as Colombia, Spain, and Argentina. Today, more than one-in-four of the nation’s newborns are Hispanic and in 18 states and the District of Columbia, Latino children account for at least 20% of public school kindergarten students.
Encantos is on a mission to inspire 21st century kids to reach their potential through 21st century skills. Using the power of entertainment & technology to reimagine education for the direct-to-consumer age, Encantos builds purpose-driven family brands focused on kids 14 & under including Canticos, Issa’s Edible Adventures, Skeletitos and Tiny Travelers. It’s learner-centered approach and stage-based digital and physical offerings include apps, books, consumer products, subscription services and videos, and have received accolades and awards from Common Sense Media, Kidscreen, Kirkus Reviews, Parents Magazine and School Library Journal. For more information, visit encantosbrands.com and follow @encantosbrands on instagram and twitter.