Kids, I would like you to meet Squisher, the international inchworm!

Squisher is the mascot for Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids. My name is Andy and I’m one of the “by kids” at Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids. Hi!

"Wait! Why isn’t a kid a mascot of Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids?" you are probably thinking.

This is a good point! But Squisher is a kid and likes to do a lot of the things that you and I like to do too. After all, he is just a kid inchworm! Let me tell you more about Squisher, as he is a very amicable and kind inchworm and I know you will like him.

THE STORY OF SQUISHER, THE INTERNATIONAL INCHWORM

Squisher was born in France. He grew up speaking French. Bonjour! I am learning French right now in high school. What language did you grow up speaking? Squisher wasn’t taught Spanish growing up, except for a few Spanish numbers. Squisher knew how to count to five in Spanish; is this like you? Do you know how to count to five in Spanish?

Growing up, Squisher also knew the color for blue in Spanish, since Squisher is, after all, blue! Have you learned any colors in Spanish? If not, learn your first one now – azul – Squisher’s color! I hope you aren’t blue, but maybe you have blue eyes? Did you notice what color Squisher’s eyes are? Verde! Now you know your second color in Spanish!

“Are you going to tell me Squisher’s story or not?” you’re probably thinking. Sorry! I get very excited about learning Spanish since it’s one of my favorite things to do. I’ll try to focus more…

SQUISHER, THE INTERNATIONAL INCHWORM’s STORY, CONTINUED…

One day, Squisher was playing inchworm soccer with his inchworm friends. Squisher loves soccer as he is a very active and social inchworm! Do you like soccer? I just started playing Lacrosse at my high school and I love it. Let me tell you how Lacrosse is played.

"You’re doing it again, Andy," my mom just told me. "You’re telling Squisher’s story, not talking about lacrosse!",/p>

“Sorry, mom!” Back to Squisher…

So, one day, Squisher was playing inchworm soccer in France with his friends. Did you know that France is right next to Spain? Hang on a sec. “Mom, the fact that France neighbors with Spain is related!”

While playing soccer, Squisher went for the ball and by accident, inched into Spain (which is right next to France, as I said before). Squisher, being a curious inchworm, loved being in a new place and inched his way all around Spain. He was very, very happy except for one thing: in Spain, Spanish is the main language and Squisher didn’t know much Spanish. He was sad because he couldn’t understand all his new inchworm friends who he met around Spain. Have you been to Spain? I really want to go there. I want to see a zillion places, like the –

”Okay, mom. Fine.” My mom wants me to let Squisher tell you the rest of the story since I can’t seem to stay focused…

“Sure, Andy, I’m happy to tell the kids my story. Here’s what happened to me after I got to Spain:

I wanted to learn Spanish so much. I started a Spanish program for kids that was recommended to me by everyone and I was so excited to start learning! But the Spanish teacher kept asking me to memorize something called “verb conjugations” and write these down over and over again. For example, I had to keep writing yo voy, tu vas, el va (which means I go, you go, he goes). How was learning Spanish verb conjugations going to help me speak Spanish with my friends? I don’t speak like that to my friends. Do you? The Spanish teacher must not have had any kids if she thinks that’s how kids talk to each other.

I was frustrated but wasn’t going to give up easily. I found another Spanish program for kids. Yeah! Now, I was going to learn Spanish! Woohoo! My new Spanish class taught me differently and I was excited to start learning Spanish for real this time.

This class taught us Spanish using something called translations. The teacher would say sentences to us in Spanish, like, “Voy al banco” and “Su padre es diplomatico” and then tell us what they meant. These sentences mean “I am going to the bank” and “Your father is a diplomat”. The students in the class would have to repeat the sentences in Spanish over and over again. This is NOT fun. I didn’t like this Spanish class AT ALL because when I excitedly went to tell my new friends in Spanish that I was going to the bank, I couldn’t remember anything except “banco” and my friends thought it was kind of weird that I kept excitingly repeating “banco” to them. For the other sentence we were supposed to have learned, I couldn’t remember any of it. What’s a diplomat anyway?

I nearly gave up. Maybe it was me and I just wasn’t good at learning Spanish. I didn’t give up, though, maybe because I have something my mom calls “tenacity” (which means I don’t give up easily) but I think I just got lucky. One afternoon I was on my profile on “Inchbook” and another inchworm named Pia messaged me. She was from Italy and spoke Italian when she came to Spain but unlike me, had been successful learning a lot of Spanish! Pia told me she had learned her Spanish in a Spanish program called “Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids” and it worked! I asked her if she had learned with verb conjugations or translations and she didn’t even know what these were! Pia told me that she learned how to understand Spanish through fun videos and learned how to speak Spanish through fun games and activities. Plus, everything she learned was related to kids! She didn’t have to learn about diplomats and banks, which don’t interest either of us. Pia learned Spanish related to stuff like eating meals, birthday parties, and even playing soccer!

When I heard that, I immediately enrolled in the Spanish program at Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids. There, I learned Spanish in a way that was fun and most important, I could now talk to my friends! I loved the Spanish program so much that I became their mascot. Now, I inch my way around the world, meeting new kids, and helping them learn Spanish and other languages in a way that makes sense for kids.

It is a lot of fun to know Spanish and it is spoken in so many amazing places. I have traveled to Peru, Colombia, Costa Rica, and so many other incredible countries. I have made so many great inchworm friends all over the world! Plus, my mom says knowing Spanish will help me get into college and a good job when I am older. I guess that’s true but I’m just happy to be able to be able to play on more soccer teams! Soccer is big in Spanish-speaking countries all over the world.

“What, Andy? No, I don’t know if they play lacrosse in Spain, Peru, Colombia…”