Walking into the Global Child is a bit like stepping off a plane in a non-English speaking country; many things look familiar, but everything sounds different.
The bilingual pre-school program for children ages three to five focuses teaching children about the world while helping them learn in both Spanish and English. The Global Child, located off of Route 1 in Stonington, offers programs, many of them focused on exposure to a second language, for children ages six weeks to 12 years old. Founded by husband and wife team Jay and Ginny Brown, the school is a result of their passion for .
Ginny grew up in Stonington and has degrees in elementary and special education. She taught in the Groton Public School Systems for years before coming to Stonington Public Schools where she worked in Deans Mills and West Broad Street schools before becoming the Director of Special Services.
Jay is both a businessman and an artist. He taught business at the high school level for years.
The two love early education and had talked about opening up some sort of early education program, but a trip to China and a lack of language learning options for their children inspired them to start the language enrichment program that evolved into The Global Child.
A few years ago, Ginny was looking to take a trip to China and wanted to learn some Mandarin before she went. Their son, Jack, now 9, also wanted to learn, but thought the programs offered in the area was boring.
“He needed a format that was fun to learn a second language in at an early age,” Jay said.
After returning from China, Ginny and Jay began to think about starting a program for students that offered language enrichment.
“I saw how globally in tuned the students in China were and I wanted my children to have that experience and understanding of different cultures,” Ginny said.
They started Interactive Language Solutions offering a Mandarin Chinese enrichment program and then decided to open a pre-school in 2011.
The school offers a flexible schedule and includes thematic topic learning where students delve more deeply into subjects that rotate every few weeks.
“I like the fact that we are building something important here,” Jay said. “Something that not only helps children but helps to enrich our community. Just being part of that is exciting.”
When not working the two are often schlepping their two sons Jack 9, and Owen 5, to soccer practice and the family enjoys spending as much time on the water as possible.
“All things are interconnected, my experience in education and as a parent helped build a school and develop a flexible schedule,” Ginny said.