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Sing to a child, you touch his heart. Sing with him, you ignite his whole brain. Sing in English, you open a WORLD of opportunities.

Helping parents turn everyday activities with their children into MUSICAL, ENGLISH LEARNING & FUN moments, through the use of technology.

Photo of Valeria Fernandez
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Updates: How has your idea changed or evolved throughout the Prize? What updates have you made to this submission? (1500 characters)

After reading through amazing submissions, incredible resources and receiving mentorship, the OpenIDEO challenge has pushed us to think in a more creative way about how we could extend the benefits of our program into the homes of families, creating more opportunities for music, learning, and fun. We know that by selling our "YUUM License ", to private, public schools and Early Childhood centers, children will benefit from our Music + English program and parents will have access to our YUUM platform, with songs, activities, videos that relate to our song collection. But it was time to think how we could inspire more "YUUMI MOMENTS" between parents & children? How to? Turn everyday activities with their children into MAKING MUSIC, LEARNING ENGLISH, HAVING FUN moments What if... 2. We partnered with selected Brands/Products which parents use at home in their daily lives with children, so they could be part of the "YUUM, GreatStart = Great Future" campaign. Transforming the moment in which parents and children consume the product into "YUUMI MOMENTS", Making Music, Learning English, Having Fun" sponsored by the Brand/Product ( see video + attachment YUUM APP partnering with Brands/ products example GRUPO BIMBO) What if... 3. We could transform the child´s environments (home, school, supermarket, playground) into places full of "YUUMI MOMENT " inspirations that could easily be accessed by the parent's mobile phones by scanning QR. An example at home, QRs placed in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, etc, so children and parents could scan them and directly have access to songs and activities they could be doing in that space while cooking, washing teeth, or sorting cloth. What if... 4. By youtube live streaming a "YUUMI MOMENT" lesson, we could reach children´s homes or classrooms and have parents/ teachers join us in singing and doing the activity together, sponsored by Brand/ Product By talking to our American mentor in California and reading through other submissions we understood the benefits our Music + English Program would have for Low-Income US Hispanic Communities. - 37 million people in the US speak Spanish at home - The Hispanic population is the 2 fastest growing in the USA - 89 % do not have access to bachelor degree or higher. . 1 in 4 children has at least one immigrant parent. - Immigrants support the need to speak English - 25 million residents in the US speak English at levels " less than very well" . Music making supports physical, cognitive, social-emotional development in early childhood. However, most EC centers do not have an EC music program. .Music also forges communities and welcome newcomers who are acquiring English as a 2nd language. . Music is very effective for engaging ELL families & enhance multicultural development. . Through Music + English, Hispanic families will take pride in their roots and identify our songs and melodies as part of the heritage they want to pass to the next generation. We also found out that: Latino adults valued the ability to speak English and Spanish. Fully 87% said Latino immigrants need to learn English to succeed. At the same time, nearly all ( 95%) said it is important for the future generation of U.S. Hispanics to speak Spanish.

Name or Organization

SERVICIOS EDUCATIVOS YUUM S.A.P.I.

Geography

Mexico. The US Hispanic Population could greatly benefit.

What is your stage of development?

  • Early Stage Innovator, with at least one-year experience in ECD

Type

  • For-profit

What is the stage of your proposal?

  • Research & Early Testing: I am exploring my idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Describe how your solution could be a game-changer for your selected Opportunity Area (600 characters)

49% ( 3-4 year-olds) do not have access to preschool in Colorado 14 % of 0-5 year-olds live in poverty in Colorado 33% are Hispanic YUUM has the potential to reach these children and providing them with high-quality Music+ English educational content in EC centers, preschools, home. - Licensing our EC Music + English by YUUM - Training & Certifying Music+ English teachers online. -Empowering parents to become the children´s best first teachers, through our online platform and APP

Select an Innovation Target

  • Technology-enabled: Existing approach is more effective or scalable with the addition of technology

Tell us more about your innovation (1500 characters)

YUUM Great Start= Great Future In YUUM we believe in giving children the best start in life so they can have a great future! YUUM is a community and platform that provides parents and their young children with tools that will enable them to develop their full potential and prepare them for the 21 st. C. Global World. 1 Innovation Putting together Music and English in a unique early childhood program. We believe that MUSIC + ENGLISH form a DYNAMIC DUO during early childhood because of all the benefits that introducing music and English at an early stage, brings to children. Unfortunately only very few have this opportunity when it should be a birthright to all children 2.Innovation Activities & tips for parents matched up with songs. We believe in the importance of empowering parents, to become the children´s first best teacher. Engaged parents = Thriving children. Engaging( parent/ child) musical experiences have a profound impact on a child´s development. 3. Innovation Puting an EC Music + English educational program in the hands of parents. We believe in using digital EdTech solutions that are scalable and accessible to all. We have been using WhatsApp for now in order to reach parents and teachers, but an APP, QR scanning are things we have been testing at a very early stage.

What problem are you aiming to solve? (3 sentences)

Children living in poverty are not exposed to music making experiences, despite the numerous research about the importance of music in a child´s development. Hispanic children in the US, face many barriers: English language being one of them. We need to provide more early childhood programs and Edtech solutions to support Music + English language learning for young children.

Explain your idea (5000 characters)

In YUUM we want to transform in a positive way the lives of young children & their families. We want to open new windows of opportunities for both children and parents by bringing music into their lives and giving them the possibility of learning English. We want that every Hispanic child starts school having learned the basic building blocks necessary for future learning, through music and parent engagement, and having acquired the foundation of the English Language. We believe that if we can give all children a GREAT START, they will have a GREAT FUTURE ahead of them. For the last 20 years through our insignia program Music + English, we have seen the huge benefits that music + English brings to children ´s happiness and learning. Music brings joy Music strengthens the parent/ child bond Music brings together families & communities Music ignites a child´s whole brain Music is a universal language All children are musical and making music is a birthright all children should have. Music engages families in the child´s learning English is best learned at an early age. English is best taught through music. English is the" global language". English learning is a right all children should have. English has an "equity effect" with jobs and educational opportunities for all. As of today learning English, playing an instrument was only an opportunity only very few could have, through YUUM we want to change that reality! No child is too young to start with Music + English learning and all children deserve the chance to have. YUUM is : A community of parents, teachers and educational Institutions striving to provide a great start in life to all children in Mexico, because we strongly believe that "it takes a village to raise a child". YUUM is: An online & offline platform that will scale the benefits of a Music & English by YUUM program to millions of children, parents & teachers. YUUM is: A company with a strong Mexican Cultural Identity but with a World vision. Online Our educational material is hosted on a platform. Through a membership payment ( hopefully free in the future) parents and teachers have access to music, downloadable activities, videos, information, and webinars. Our YUUM App will provide parents with an opportunity to engage with children in "Making Music, Brain-building, Learning English, Having Fun" moments, according to age and the type of activity the parent is doing at that moment. We would also like to create online Skype conversation classes between YUUM volunteers (college students who need to do social work, and retired persons) and parents and children of the YUUM community who want to get some practice. Offline Yuum is licensing the Music + English by YUUM program to private and government educational institutions, to individuals wanting to teach the program. The license provides online and offline training to teachers and guidance before and after implementation to licensees. Children attend classes 1 or 2 hours per week, along with their primary caregivers or parents when not in a school setting, or within a school setting, actively engaging by singing, dancing and moving and instrument playing to songs in English. YUUM Events We organize YUUM events for the whole family, such as " Rug Concerts", "Singing Read Along Storytimes" that are free to YUUM members. YUUM means in" parents" in the Mayan language We believe in empowering parents and educators to take action to provide a great start for their children.

Who benefits? (1500 characters)

Who benefits? Children From an early childhood quality music program, (Music is not part of the EC curriculum in many States) Facilitates the learning of English at the best age to learn a second language. Have parents that sing and engage more with them. Parents Strengthens the bond between them and their children. Empowers them to become the children´s best first teachers with activities to do with their children with each song. Allows them to learn English alongside their children. Become members of the YUUM community of parents, teachers committed to providing a quality early childhood education to ensure a great future to all children. Schools and Educational Institutions It greatly improves the quality of their educational offering Increase in revenue Highly qualified teachers in their early childhood in the field music and English What experience do you have interacting with your beneficiaries? For the last two years, we have been piloting our Music +English by YUUM program in low-income communities. It has been an incredible experience that has given us many insights. Parents are willing to pay in order to give their children the opportunity to learn English They are very aware of the opportunities this will give their children in the future, education & jobs. They were enthusiastic and eager to participate in class and at home doing the activities related to the songs. Most importantly, parents and children have lots of fun together!

What kind of impact will your idea have? (1500 characters)

For the last 20 years, more than 3500 children have benefited from our Music + English program. We have seen how music enhances the development of young children in many areas, cognitive, language development, social-emotional, math. We have also seen how exposing children to the English language through singing is a natural and fun way to learn a second language and the best time to do so! It has given us great pleasure to see many of our students become successful young adults. Now it is time to scale! We want all children to thrive no matter where they live! 1 Impact Our pilot programs in rural and low-income communities have validated that children and parents are learning English, singing more, playing & bonding. 2 Impact Schools that have been using our program express to us, that teachers and children love our songs and activities and that parents appreciate receiving the songs and activities in order to support the learning process of their children and are very proud to see their children learning English. 3 impact Parents and schools are willing to pay for our program and classes, thus making our business model very attractive and confirming an insight we had had for a long time, that parents and schools are willing to invest in the children´s education. 4 Impact Communities benefit because families are coming together to share a fun and happy time, thus creating an enriching musical experience for all the children.

How does or how could your idea impact low-income children? (1500 characters)

Investing in easy childhood education is the solution to enhance economy especially in low-income households. Through our platform and licensing model, we can expand the Music + English by YUUM program. In our pilot programs in low-income communities, in a first phase, we used WhatsApp as a way of providing mp3 files of our music, images, and links to videos to support parents and teachers, very shortly our YUUM platform will be ready, hopefully, in the future, we could have an App. We have created a strong sense of community both in class and virtually through the WhatsApp groups, providing all the content directly to their cell phones. We have given parents in low- income communities the tools to start learning English alongside their children. By hearing the music, seeing the videos, and receiving the activity ideas parents are engaging more with children. They are more inspired to do so, thus benefitting the children. Engaged parents= Thriving Children

Innovation: What makes your concept innovative? (5000 characters)

The innovation License YUUM. Licensees and teachers can be trained online and receive all the information to easily implement the Music + English program in any setting. YUUM licenses are attractive to: . Schools with a majority of ELL students. . Edu-preneurs bilingual ( with a musical background) wishing to have an extra revenue within Hispanic neighborhoods and communities. . Early childhood centers or Foundations working with young Hispanic children and their families. Music + English classes 20 years of experience teaching the Mexican families have given us valuable know-how on how to teach English through music to young children and how to introduce an enriching early childhood music program to families with very little musical background. YUUM platform. Parents receive additional Information to extend the benefits of the program to their homes, becoming more engaged in the learning process of their young children, easily accessible through their mobile devices- YUUM App There are many free and paid apps, Vroom, Kinedu, Ready Rosie, AmaEdu( many in this challenge) that give parents tips, videos, of how to brain-building moments, yet nobody is incorporating the power of MUSIC. Many free and paid apps exist to teach English yet none is focusing on teaching the parents of young children through videos of children songs, that are relevant to them because their children sing them and love them, thus making the learning process more meaningful. Once the App is developed, apart from getting all the music making, fun suggestions, parents/ caregivers/grandparents, etc would be able to learn English in a more practical way, using a Spaced Repetition Software. ( example FluentU) YUUM because we are a Mexican company we understand the Hispanic population. We understand the importance of installing in the second and third generations of immigrants the cultural heritage that the 1 generation left behind and are wishing to inherit to the 2 and 3 generation. Many of our songs are Mexican beloved childhood songs translated into English, melodies parents/ grandparents will recognize and cherish. Singing in both languages in class will enhance a multicultural development in the children.

Scale: Describe how your idea could reach a significant number of end-users. (1500 characters)

There are 59% of children in Colorado whose families live below the 200% poverty threshold. 49.3 % of 3-4-year-olds are not enrolled in preschool 14 % live in poverty- The use of mobile devices is widely common, the easiest way we have used to reach our end users in low-income areas in Mexico is through their phones using WhatsApp and messaging. Phase 1 Our platform as of now, allows parents to access the platform to access music ( mp3) and activities ( pdf templates) videos ( mp4), the songs are encrypted. Parents will also be able to access webinars with Music and language experts. Phase 2 Because the majority of parents in low-income communities have limited plans to access internet, we want to be able to develop the second part of the platform, which will allow parents and teachers to download all the songs, videos into their mobile device but "encrypted", that way they will not need to be connected to wifi to hear and see songs and videos. We are particularly interested in the Hispanic communities, the fastest growing population of 56 Million, many facing the challenge of not speaking English at home. This represent a huge challenge since children are starting kindergarten not knowing the language and for parents a barrier that enables them to communicate with teachers and school administrators. Our license will be affordable to schools, day care centers, Head Start Programs, Pre-K classrooms, home-based centers with any budget.

Feasibility: Where are you with understanding the feasibility of your idea? Describe what you’ve done so far and your plans. (3000 characters)

MUSIC + ENGLISH was born 1997 out of the visión of one woman, with a lifelong passion for teaching English, who witnessed the importance of teaching English to children in marginalized communities and the importance that music played in early childhood development. Since then more than 40 teachers have been trained and more than 3500 children have benefited from the program. In March 2015, we were invited to participate in a Radio show, with Martha Debayle, an important radio spokesperson, we received hundreds of emails and phone calls asking for our Music + English program. We knew it was the time to scale! In Sept. 2015 we won a "National Call: Necesito de Ti", an entrepreneurship program seeking to promote innovative solutions that address ECD. We incubated for eight months. This is how YUUM was founded and Music + English by YUUM was envisioned, as a way to scale and reach millions of children in Mexico and outside. In November 2015, two months into our " Necesito de Ti" incubation, we were invited to participate in two workshops with the "Accelerator of Innovation for Early Childhood" (AIPI) an initiative promoted by the Regiomontana University and the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University, as part of the "Frontiers of Innovation" Research and Design Network of Harvard University. We are part of the " Pacto por la Primera Infancia", along with more than one hundred organizations, developing strategies directed to solve early childhood problems in the estates of Oaxaca and Mexico. In November 2016 YUUM participated in the "Go to Market" program from Stanford University in Mexico City with a half scholarship. Currently, we are very soon expanding into the northern state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, where through our first License, the prestigious school of Escuela Superior de Música y Danza de Monterrey ( http://esmdm.edu.mx/la-superior/nosotros/) we are going to benefit a very large number of children aged 0 – 5 years old and their parents. In the last year, we have produced our first Music Playlist, a collaboration between Mexico & USA, with singers, musicians, and technicians, that have put together unique songs, some public domain but with a distinctive sound, the YUUM sound, and some original songs. We are particularly proud of our Mexican songs translated into English, with are part of our cultural heritage. We think these songs will have a strong impact especially in Hispanic communities in the USA. We have also designed and built the back end of our platform, where songs are now encrypted and can be heard from any device but not downloaded. We have piloted our YUUM APP in the very early stage using a "Human-Centered", " Design Thinking" approach with parents getting many insights and feedback. We would love to be able to reach the Latino market, hoping to reach millions of children that urgently more early childhood programs and parents need more tools to engage with children.

Business Viability: How viable is your business model? (5000 characters)

Our Business Model has 2 main sources of revenues. - Selling off our Yuum License to private and public schools, Educational Institutions, Foundations working with children and families, Edu- preener hoping to establish a business doing what they like the best working with children. - Payment off memberships from parents participating in our Music + English Classes, to access the digital online materials. Another form of revenues include. - Training & certifying teachers. - Sell of instruments, etc, to parents and schools. - Parents downloading our APP ( FUTURE) In the future revenues could be generated by. Selecting for-profit partners with an interest in early childhood so parents can associate their brand with our solution ( videos where their logo is featured)

HCD: How have you used human centered design to build or refine your concept? (5000 characters)

After participating it the participate two workshops with the "Accelerator of Innovation for Early Childhood" (AIPI) an initiative promoted by the Regiomontana University and the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University, as part of the "Frontiers of Innovation" Research and Design Network of Harvard University, we undertook home visits to the low- income families that participated in our pilot classes. We wanted to know more about them so the first thing we did is visit their homes. Using a Design Thinking approach and following the PICOLO measurement form, we observed parents as they engaged with children while singing and playing. We took three boxes. 1 Had wooden sticks and little "bird." 2 Had a book 3 Had a Tea Set They had 10 min to engage with the content in the three boxes in no particular order or time restriction. The only rule was that they had to play with all. We had many insights! Parents did not know songs in Spanish and therefore hardly any sing happened at home. The few songs they new came from watching many youtube videos as the main source of hearing songs and learning English. Dora Exploradora, Gallina Pintadita were very popular. We asked to see their toys, the books if any, we found out that parents were spending on plastic toys, but not on hands-on, imaginative/ creative, type of toys and not much reading was taking place. We did an activity with them asking them in a very visual way to describe what they wanted for their children, the idea of a better and brighter future was very clear to the majority. We tested their English level, by setting up flashcards of simple English words found in the songs. The results after a couple of months of classes were astonishing! The number of English words had increased dramatically.

Tell us more about you (3000 characters)

As a mother of five children, I became engaged in education since my children were born. They have been the motor, my inspiration, the reason for all that I have done and accomplished in the educational field. The path has certainly been difficult, as an entrepreneur I have learned that every time you fail you learn more! While living in NY with my children, I worked with Mexican immigrants both illegal and legal. This was a very important experience in my life, that had a profound impact on me. I was moved by the difficulties they go through in order to have a better life for them and their families. With this background when I returned back to Mexico, I wanted to accomplish two things. 1. Give my own children the same high-quality EC programs they had in NY. 2. Give children in low-income communities in Mexico a chance to better education so they would could have better jobs in Mexico and not have to leave every thing behind in search of a better life. I worked with Music + English founder, Cecilia Cortina, my mother. I Co- Founded Art@Work also with her, a center for families that offered many programs around music and art (run six years) I also Co-Founded Amazing Summer, a summer program for young children that has run for more than 18 years ( www.amazingsummer.com.mx) Co-founded of The Tots School, a nursery school that ran for 5 years. Founded Yuum two years ago. All of these companies have had one goal: to allow young children to thrive! A firm believer that education, as Nelson Mandela once said: " Is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the World" and concerned about the actual situation Mexico is facing, politically, socially and economically. For the last three years I have set my mind to give children and parents in low-income communities the opportunity to thrive, amidst the very adverse situations they are facing. Giving parents and children, the tools they so desperately need to overcome the poor education they are receiving. As an entrepreneur, I have had many setbacks but I have learned from them and now, with more knowledge, I have put together a great Team and Board of passionate people who share the same dream of changing the future of millions of children in Mexico. It is all about knowing WHY your are doing, WHAT you are doing, and for WHO you are doing it. Having this very clear, little by little, we have had doors open and opportunities to make it happen! We are very excited to be part of the Open IDEO challenge, I have participated already in another Open Idea challenge "Helping children to thrive" and it was an awesome experience. We are very much looking forward to the chance to have a mentor and to contribute to the community and vice versa, to enrich our idea with the experience and background of all the participant's​ world wide. Although we are in Mexico, we know YUUM has no frontiers!

Do you have the people and partners you need to do what you’ve described? (600 characters)

We are a small team but with a big dream! To change the future of many children. Although we have a passionate team of musicians, early childhood teachers, English teachers and marketing and we have a strong board of women that share our passion and have been very fortunate to be able to have mentors along the process of incubation, and acceleration program, YUUM needs to partner with IT, people or partners. We envision a YUUM App that will be able to provide all of our content directly into the phones of parents and teachers, we are at the very early stage of making this possible.

As you consider your next steps, what kinds of help could you use? Is there a type of expertise that would be most helpful? (1800 characters)

We would love to collaborate with passionate IT people in the area of language acquisition software, people creating activities for parents and children that enhance learning moments, and people in the field of early childhood music, I know that Finland has a very solid music program in their nurseries would like to know how that works. Definitely get help in the technological area of our business!!!

Would you like mentoring support?

  • Yes

If so, what type of mentoring support do you think you need? (1200 characters)

We need lots of IT Support since our online business is supported in technology. Also hoping to pilot our program in other countries with Spanish speaking parents, specially interested in collaborating with projects that are working with Hispanic Low-Income Communities in the USA. It would be great if we could make more connections with mentors and or people expert in the field of Music and English learning, IT.

Are you willing to share your email contact information submitted on OpenIDEO with Gary Community Investments?

  • Yes, share my contact information

[Optional] Biography: Upload your biography. Please include links to relevant information (portfolio, LinkedIn profile, organization website, etc).

http://www.yuum.com.mx https://www.facebook.com/Musicand EnglishMX https://www.facebook.com/yuum http://www.musicandenglish.com http://instagram.com/music_and_english https://www.linkedin.com/in/valeria-fernandez-cortina-5103ba30/

[Optional] Attachments: Please upload relevant attachments or graphics or show us how you prototyped.

[Optional] Video: You are invited to submit a 30-60 second video that introduces you and/or your team and your idea.

Mentorship: How was your idea supported? (5000 characters)

I was introduced to Becky Jonhson in California. She helped us understand that music was central to our program, and then she helped us really built in the idea that through music, children and families would be able to access English, which opens doors. She read through our submission several times and gave us her opinion, which was greatly appreciated! THANK YOU, BECKY!
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Attachments (3)

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Not favorable "Outcomes" for Latino children, by immigrant status

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Distribution of children in immigrant families, by race. 54 % are latinos

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38 % of Hispanic adults who only speak Spanish

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