Possibly my favorite thing about the Spanish story times and classes at Bilingual Butterflies is that I actually might learn some Spanish vocab words. After about two and a half years of running classes in Rittenhouse, owner Yenni has relocated her Spanish immersion program back to Queen Village and now offers a variety of classes for kids aged zero to eight.
Here’s the deal: There are Mama y Yo (that’s Mommy and Me) classes for ages zero to three, Pequenos classes for three to five year olds and Chicos classes for those aged six to eight. Yenni and her staff are all native Spanish speakers, which she says helps kids pick up the authentic accent. (Yenni has a degree in elementary education from Temple and spent many years as a nanny. She actually got the idea for the business because so many of the families she cared for asked her to teach their children Spanish.)
The classes have songs, stories, puppets — basically anything that will keep the kids (and um, caretakers) engaged. The instructors concentrate on teaching the kids everyday words like animals, family members, kitchen and home objects, food and such. She also hosts a drop-in Spanish story time for kids aged zero to five for $12, and private lessons.
Of course, the benefits of a child knowing a second language are well-documented, but it’s also just pretty bad ass to know Spanish, especially as our city continues to diversify. And for kids who go to Philadelphia public schools, Yenni’s program can supplement the fact that many elementary schools don’t offer a foreign language.