I am so excited to introduce and welcome to my blog a special guest – Elena Raybun, a mother, an educator and a business owner among other important titles
Elena, tell me a little about yourself, your background, your family.
I immigrated to the US back in 1999 from Russia. When I got married and had my first child, my husband and I agreed that raising her bilingual was a gift we could offer her. I worked part-time and spoke exclusively Russian to my daughter the entire time. Unfortunately, at the age of 3 my daughter understood Russian perceptively but did not speak Russian in return. My husband and I were confused and worried. After all, it was important to us that she spoke Russian as a part of our heritage and we thought it could give her an advantage in her professional future. After research, I learned that what our daughter needed was an immersion language environment, preferably filled with her own peers. Russian immersion
Please, tell the readers about your service.
In 2011 when my daughter was just 3 years old I decided to open my own bilingual child care as no such service was available anywhere in the north Denver area. We originally opened the business with only 6 available spots for children ages 0-5 but those spots quickly got filled and a year later we expanded to accommodate 12 children. Today we operate at full capacity and maintain a steady waiting list for children who would like to learn Russian.
Children in our care enjoy days filled with various play-based activities such as story time, puppet shows, circle time, etc. The majority of our day (about 95% ) is spent speaking, reading, playing and singing in Russian, which makes it a true language immersion. All of out teachers are native speakers of Russian and they teach children not only the language but also the culture through food, celebrations of Russian holidays, songs, games and so on.
Why do you believe moms should use such service?
Raising children bilingual is not just the latest trend in Early Childhood Education, it is truly beneficial for the child’s overall development. Being immersed in 2 languages from birth is something very commonly practiced in most European countries and it is slowly catching up here in the US. Early language immersion helps children obtain a second language at an age when their speech apparatus is still developing, which allows a child to speak a foreign language accent-free later in life. Research shows that bilingual children develop a better understanding of an object regardless of the language used and it is easier for them to acquire additional languages throughout life. Exposure to a new culture teaches them acceptance and appreciation of diversity.
Why choose your service over the one down the street?
My business is very unique. We offer services not offered anywhere else in the north Denver or Boulder area. Additionally, in the past 3.5 years that we have been in existence, we have created an excellent reputation of high quality child care and preschool services. You can find parent reviews on our web-site at www.russiansadik.com
Why would you yourself choose to use “Veseliy Ulei”?
We offer comfortable in-home atmosphere, safe and stimulating environment for children, excellent home cooked meals, experienced care providers with years of child care experience, and research-based approach to bilingual education in early childhood.
What are the special programs/events that you provide (if any)?
Our clients (our children) enjoy weekly music and art classes taught by highly experienced specialized Russian-speaking teachers. These lessons are geared not only at language development and language acquisition but also at the overall focus on the “whole child”: development of gross and fine motor skills, artistic and imaginative play, eye-hand coordination, emergent reading and writing, social skills and so on.
What is your work-kids-life balance formula?
Being self-employed comes at a price. However, in the past 3.5 years of operating my bilingual child care and preschool I think I organized my life and my work in such a way that work happens primarily during business hours (7:30am-5:30pm, Monday-Friday) and the rest of the time I am devoted to my family.
What is so rewarding about your business to you?
The most rewarding part of my job is the feeling I get when I see how much my students have learned in the time they spent at my child care and preschool. We get compliments from parents who see their child’s progress not just in their Russian language acquisition but also in their child’s academics, their Kindegarten readiness and overall development. We also receive special words of gratitude from the Kindergarten teachers who teach our “graduates” as they note the children’s advancements in academics and social/emotional development in comparison to children who did not attend out preschool.
Want to learn more? Please check out the website, call or stop by and see yourself what an amazing place this truly is
“Veseliy Uley” Russian Preschool and Child Care
Thank you, Elena for sharing with us! And thank you for providing such a unique opportunity to young children in Denver and Boulder area of Colorado!