NEW YORK, NY – October 13, 2014 – (HISPANICIZE WIRE) – AviÃ³n Ventures, a mobile accelerator based in San Francisco supporting Latina entrepreneurs, invites Deborah Castillero to participate in their selective fall cohort to develop a mobile platform of her childrenâ€™s property Tipi Tom Tales. Bilingual Childrenâ€™s Enterprises is an e-learning platform utilizing a dual language model to help early learners improve their primary and second language acquisition skills. For Latinos, mobile is an important medium of choice as Hispanics spend 54 more minutes on mobile phones than non-Hispanics, while under-indexing noticeably for PC usage.
The problem Bilingual Childrenâ€™s Enterprises is addressing is the â€œ30 million word gapâ€ between early learners growing up in professional homes and those from lower socio-economic status (SES) homes. For lower, Latino SES families these early learners are starting their academic experience in the achievement gap because of poor language skills. According to Castillero, â€œIn a global economy understanding a second language is seen as an asset, not a deficit. With Latino English-Language Learners (ELLs), I want to accelerate their language acquisition skills in both English and Spanish to better prepare them for kindergarten and success in life. The dual language model is proven to help students in that capacity while also developing their cognitive skills.â€ Additionally, Castilleroâ€™s hopes Tipi Tom Tales will serve as an educational platform for the less than 50% of Latino children who donâ€™t attend preschool.
Today, the US Hispanic market represents 17% of the total US population. One in every four babies born today has a Hispanic parent (Source: Pew Research Center, â€œThe New Demography of American Motherhood,â€ May 2010) and ELLS are the fastest growing student population. In cities like Los Angeles, ELLs represent one-third of the student population; in NYC, Latinos represent nearly two-thirds of the cityâ€™s ELL population. According to the Hispanic Federationâ€™s recent Education Summit (9/22) and policy blueprint, â€œNYC must make improving ELL education an immediate citywide imperativeâ€¦as far too many ELLs in NYC are not being provided with the linguistic and education support they need to succeed academically.â€
Bilingual Childrenâ€™s Enterprises is also developing a video series featuring Tipi Tom Tales; self-described as where â€œDora the Explorer meets Rosetta Stone.â€ Her demo video can be viewed on tipitomtales.com or on YouTube. Her team consists of Ricardo Arnaiz, winner of the Academia Mexicana Ariel award, Jill Cozza-Turner, an Emmy-Award winner writer and Zulmaris Diaz, Ph.D, an expert educator in dual language and bilingual education.