Spanish4Kiddos Educational Services, LLC
Today my female entrepreneur is Barbara Mascareno, a bilingual teacher and the founder of Spanish4Kiddos Educational Services.
Spanish4Kiddos is an exciting online resource that provides teachers and educators with bilingual learning materials. Barbara, originally from Argentina, has created a great brand around her bilingual materials that teachers and educators can trust and has a great story to share with us. Now, she lives in Colorado, USA along with her loving husband and family dog.
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND THE BUSINESS YOU STARTED.
My journey in education really didn’t start until years after being a chemist. Once I earned a B. S. in Chemistry from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL and a B. S. in Biochemistry from the University of Houston in Houston, TX, I worked for several chemical industries for more than a decade. After having my daughter, I saw a need for bilingual education.
Something in me stirred my passion for teaching. So, I went back to school and completed my teaching licensure. Then, I began teaching in Title 1 schools where there’s a high demand for bilingual teachers in science.
As a teacher, I got to see first hand, the lack of bilingual resources for English Language Learners. Many students are left behind and there’s barely any resources to help teachers. So, I developed my learning materials to not only teach science but to boost the reading level in my students.
Although many students didn’t read at grade level but below, my resources encouraged and motivated them to accomplish grade-level reading.
Spanish4Kiddos began as my journey to encourage educators to implement teaching techniques and resources when they teach Spanish to kids. Now, Spanish4Kiddos is more than that. Our resources raise the learning level in students so that they can aim beyond what they know.
Within each Spanish4Kiddos learning material, you have the opportunity to go beyond a simple reading. You have the chance to deepen the learning level in children.
WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE AND HOW DO YOU STAY PRODUCTIVE?
A typical day consists of developing learning materials that will boost reading and writing in preschoolers and early readers. I also write and research the Spanish4Kiddos blog content so that readers have a foundation of evidence-based articles about the latest teaching strategies and methods.
I like to stay productive by implementing brain breaks, which I also used in my classroom. These brain breaks can be chatting with experts in the field over social media or reading the current educational events.
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
PLEASE DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF LAUNCHING YOUR BUSINESS.
The infancy of Spanish4Kiddos began over six years ago when I started to teach my daughter Spanish. Spanish4Kiddos got its name because we are 4teachers, 4parents, and 4kiddos.
Once I began teaching, Spanish4Kiddos became a business helping teachers with student achievement in bilingual reading.
In 2018, I formally formed Spanish4Kiddos Educational Services LLC in Colorado, serving the K-12 education sector with the same high-quality resources.
In 2019, to better serve teachers and educators, Spanish4Kiddos went through a design and structural transformation. After working with a local design company, the website is more streamlined and user-friendly.
Now, users can easily find resources, whether in the free library of materials or in the shop. With each digital download, users have immediate access to learning resources from the shop. In that way, they don’t have to wait for shipping or buy multiple hard copies. Resources are available immediately.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT AND YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE SINCE YOU STARTED YOUR BUSINESS?
One of the biggest achievements has been making Spanish4Kiddos a brand that teachers and educators can trust. I personally develop the voice behind Spanish4Kiddos in social media, interviews, and marketing.
However, one of the biggest challenges has been the fundraiser outreach school supply program for teachers. We would like to expand our school supply donations for teachers in need with local partners or businesses.
WHAT STRATEGY DID YOU USE TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS? AND HOW?
I envision Spanish4Kiddos to continue with a brand-building to reach more teachers and educators. With the development of starter packages that I created, I hope it brings the stepping stone educators need to bring Spanish in the classroom and at home.
In addition, customer care is the most essential part of Spanish4Kiddos. I personally dedicate time to ensure educators receive the best customer care possible whether you’re downloading a free workbook or learning resources from our shop.
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS?
The future of Spanish4Kiddos lies in the expansion of our digital products and starter packages to preschool centers and dual-language schools. Whether teachers or parents need an instructional strategist to help with learning materials, Spanish4Kiddos is there for you.
I will continue to expand the reading programs of our bilingual stories online via social media and/or on the Spanish4Kiddos site.
RECOMMENDATIONS & FINAL THOUGHTS
PLEASE RECOMMEND ANY RESOURCES AND TOOLS THAT YOU USE TO RUN YOUR BUSINESS.
Spanish4Kiddos runs on a WordPress platform, and the e-commerce part runs via WooCommerce. Melinda McCaw Media, a local Colorado design company, created the website design for Spanish4Kiddos. I personally write, create, and develop each blog content and learning resources.
The best part of instructional design is that I get to work with amazing freelance designers from Etsy for copyright clip arts and FontSpring for copyright fonts.
In addition, I deliver monthly and weekly updates to Spanish4Kiddos readers via MailChimp. Of course, any other news, including the latest education news and videos, I often post on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE BOOKS, BLOGS OR PODCASTS?
My favourite podcasts to keep up to date with educational news are the Teach Better Talk!, the 10 Minute Teacher, the Podcast PD, the Top of the Class, and the TeacherCast Podcast.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER WOMEN WHO WANT TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
The best advice I can give to another woman is to get clear on your business goal.
If possible, hire or work with a business coach that can help you with setting goals and developing your business ideas.
As you build your business, make meaningful connections that others want to talk about and want to be part of your brand.
Welcome to the Biz Ladies interview series!
If you’re new to these series, I interview women entrepreneurs on how they started their business, what was the idea behind it, how they got where they are, the struggles, the reality and more.
By sharing their stories, we want to inspire other women to get started.
If you are interested to share your own story on the Biz Ladies LET ME KNOW!