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Ronit Shiro shares the gift of bilingualism with children through FeppyBox

Ronit Shiro is the creator and founder of FeppyBox — a bilingual subscription box designed to immerse kids ages 3-6 in Spanish and English language learning. 

FeppyBox makes it easier for parents to raise their children bilingually, in a fun way that feels more like playing than learning. With the mission to connect kids with the globe through language, in order to build a more inclusive and FEPPIER world around them, FeppyBox strives to raise the next generation of open- minded, global citizens. 

FeppyBox

FeppyBox helps parents to raise their children bilingually, in a fun way that feels more like playing than learning. (Photo courtesy FeppyBox)

Sharing the gift of bilingualism with children 

FeppyBox was born out of Ronit Shiro’s passion for learning, traveling, and connecting with people. Language was the common thread that brought all these passions together. 

FeppyBox creator and founder Ronit Shiro. (Photo courtesy FeppyBox)

Born in Venezuela to immigrant parents, Ronit was lucky to learn and speak more than one language. At the time she did not understand the importance of bilingualism or the opportunities it would offer. Later, as an adult and mom herself, she would come to understand that bilingualism is one of the greatest gifts she could give her children. 

“In our case, being bilingual means being able to connect with grandparents and friends, but it’s also a tool that creates opportunities for the future,” said Ronit. “It connects us to other cultures. It opens doors.” 

This is where the idea for FeppyBox began to take shape. Ronit began to ask: How can we provide tools to families to make language learning fun and meaningful? How can we give kids entertaining and creative ways to learn? 

From there, the subscription box service began to take form and was given its name: FeppyBox, from combining the word haPPY in English and Spanish (FEliz), to embody all parents’ ultimate purpose: to see their kids happy. In 2020, FeppyBox launched and has been growing steadily since. 

Raising bilingual children through immersive learning

By combining learning with play, FeppyBox makes language learning fun and easy. Each FeppyBox includes stories, music, and games designed so children can learn, laugh, and live in two languages. 

“From our customers, we’re learning that you don’t have to be bilingual to raise a bilingual child, and we’re seeing that play-based learning takes some of the mystery out of bilingualism,” said Ronit. “The spark of bilingualism happens when a kid connects the content in both languages.”

FeppyBox

FeppyBox offers a variety of activities to make language learning fun and immersive for children and parents. (Photo courtesy FeppyBox)

With a variety of activities, children and parents are able to engage with language in different formats. Feppy Book offers an original story in both English and Spanish and includes exclusive access to its Audio Video Book, which provides unlimited fun learning and supports pronunciation. Each Audio Video Book can be watched in English or Spanish. 

Next, Feppy Play offers a hands-on activity to encourage bilingual play-based learning. Feppy Music gives children a new song with bilingual lyrics and exclusive online access to Feppy Music. Feppy Music adapts versions of traditional children’s songs introducing Merengueton, Salsa/Trap Reggaeton/Vallenato, Electro Mambo and other Latin rhythms. 

FeppyBox

Feppy Play offers a hands-on activity to encourage bilingual play-based learning. (Photo courtesy FeppyBox). 

Finally, Feppy Parents is a unique Parent Guide to support ongoing immersive learning. Every item in FeppyBox is fully bilingual, so parents don’t need to know both languages to share 

FeppyBox is a gift that allows children to connect and grow as global citizens. For bilingual families, it is also a way for family members to connect, even across great distances. 

“We are happy to learn that grandparents have bought FeppyBox for their grandchildren as a way to connect with them,” Ronit shared. “One grandparent sent us a note telling us that, even though he lives far away from his grandson, they look forward to every box and sharing what’s inside.” 

You might be interested: ‘Diary of a Future President’ empowers young Latinas to dream big 

Tip for entrepreneurs: “Believe in yourself and in your ideas” 

Ronit’s personal philosophy as an entrepreneur is to embrace the uncomfortable and continue to move forward striving for something new and better and to seek progress over perfection. 

Creating FeppyBox was a gift of love and a passion project for her, but that does not mean there were no challenges or struggles along the way. Starting out, Ronit had to wear many hats, juggling management, customer service, and delivery. Her strength through all of this was her ability to problem solve 24/7 and be comfortable with being uncomfortable. 

“Everyday my team and I are uncomfortable, it means we are moving forward because we are doing something new, mastering a new process and doing something better. I truly believe in seeing the positive side of being uncomfortable. If you’re uncomfortable it means you’re discovering something new and moving your business forward,” said Ronit.

To minority women thinking of starting their own business, Ronit advises, “It is very important to believe in yourself and your ideas. We can ask for advice, but deep down we have to trust and believe in what we are creating.” 

Most importantly, she reminds aspiring entrepreneurs to seek progress over perfection and keep moving forward, even when things get uncomfortable. 

“Perfection can paralyze us, and as entrepreneurs it is important to advance, to move forward. It’s ok to pivot and to evolve.” 

resilience in children during Covid-19

How MiLegasi’s founder deals with resilience in children during COVID-19

Over the past few months, Covid-19 has had a tremendous impact on everyone world-wide. It has disrupted our routines, sense of structure, and security. The pandemic has not only threatened our physical health but also our mental health as we all try to adapt to these changing and uncertain times. While we as adults are able to understand the situation, children are struggling during this time, which is why it is crucial that caregivers work to build emotional resilience in children during Covid-19. 

#DONATE10 Donate $10 or more to our #2020WEES Giveaway and we will send you a mask like this one, fun, washable and reusable made by a Latina entrepreneur! Help Latina entrepreneurs who are struggling keep their businesses afloat! 

https://pages.donately.com/latinasinbusinessinc/campaign/2020wees

resilience in children during Covid-19

Janny Perez and her daughter (Photo courtesy Janny Perez)

Janny Perez, founder of Mi Legasi, has been working to do just that with her young daughter. Family has always been at the center of Janny’s life from growing up in Miami surrounded by a rich cultural community to becoming a mother herself and starting her family-focused brand, she has always believed in the power of family. 

Her company is a brand that offers both clothing and multicultural tools to help parents raise bilingual children who appreciate their Latino heritage. Her work centers around building strong bonds between parents and children through a positive celebration of heritage and her belief in the power of family has only strengthened during the pandemic. 

Managing big emotions in children

Children have big emotions for such little people. These emotions are often difficult to handle, even in normal situations. During times of stress and trauma, it can become even harder for young children to regulate their own emotions and you may notice children acting out more and having tantrums. These responses are expressions of their own stress and anxiety.

resilience in children during Covid-19

Janny Perez and her daughter (Photo courtesy Janny Perez)

Many parents, like Janny, have been thrust into new and uncertain territory as they try to juggle quarantine, homeschooling, running a business and just trying to stay sane! They may feel uncertain themselves and may not know how to handle their own emotions, let alone their child’s emotions.

However, having a sensitive, responsive caregiver is essential to building resilience in children during Covid-19. Children depend on the adults in their lives to provide a sense of safety and security. They can easily pick up on stress, anxiety, and negative emotions and will model their behavior after others. Children learn to regulate their own emotions from these models, so it is especially important that parents and caregivers take the time to manage their own stress and emotions in positive ways for children to emulate their responses. 

Talking to your child about Covid-19

Adults should also be honest about the situation with their young children and maintain open communication by using age-appropriate information to talk about Covid-19 .

Janny and her husband, Percy, faced this difficulty with their own daughter. Recently turned 5-years old, their daughter was looking forward to her birthday party and to see her friends and family. However, due to the pandemic, the party had to be virtual. 

resilience in children during Covid-19

Janny, her husband and their daughter celebrating her birthday (Photo courtesy Janny Perez)

“It was especially hard to explain to her that no one besides mom and dad would be physically there,” says Janny. “As adults we are resilient, but kids are definitely going through a very hard time right now.” 

Many parents are having similar conversations with their children and while it may be difficult, having these open conversations, as Janny did with her daughter, will help children develop great resilience and understanding of the situation. 

Additionally, parents can follow the 3 R’s suggested by experts of reassurance, routine, and regulation to help build further resilience in children during Covid-19. 

You may be interested: Repositioning her brand, Gladys Cleaning Services faces COVID-19

Resilience as a foundation for life

 By creating a safe, supportive environment and communicating with her young daughter about the situation, Janny is working to instill life-long resilience in her daughter.  This resilience will equip her with the tools to navigate these uncertain times and any future obstacles in life. The major lesson Janny and her family have learned during the pandemic is how to approach unexpected situations with a flexible and resilient mentality.

“This whole experience has taught us that in life you can only plan so much,” Janny says. “Sometimes life has its own plans and you have to be flexible and willing to adapt.” 

Though there have been some challenging and exhausting moments, Janny feels blessed to have her husband at home more and they have become a stronger, unified front for Mi Legasi. Additionally during this time they have helped serve their community by making affordable face masks which are available for sale on their site now. 

resilience in children during Covid-19

MiLegasi masks for adults and children (Photo courtesy Janny Perez)

“I believe that if we can go through this now, we can face any challenge or adversity in the future,” she says. “When you’re surrounded by people that lift you, anything and everything is possible.” 

And while each day may bring new challenges and difficulties, Janny and her family are taking it one day at a time…”one cafecito at a time.”