Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.
Hello, Mom’s Choice readers! Today we had the pleasure of interviewing Ronit Shiro, Founder and CEO of the MCA award-winning product, Feppy Box! Feppy Box is a monthly subscription box containing original, high-quality resources in English and Spanish to support parents as they instill two languages at home. Each box is designed by language immersion experts to get your kids playing and connecting in English and Spanish, naturally. Keep reading to find out more about Ronit and her award-winning product, Feppy Box!
MCA: Hi Ronit! Congratulations on your Mom’s Choice Award and thank you for stopping by with us today. There are so many reasons to teach your child another language while they are young. Research shows that learning a second language boosts problem-solving, critical thinking, and listening skills, in addition to improving memory, concentration, and the ability to multitask. That is why products such as Feppy Box are so important! I’d first like to start the interview by having you tell us about yourself!
Ronit: I was born in Venezuela to immigrant parents. I was lucky to grow up learning and speaking more than one language. Although as a child I didn’t understand its importance, as an adult I experienced the advantages and opportunities that bilingualism gave me. As a mom, I knew that bilingualism was one of the greatest gifts I could give my 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. It connects us to other cultures. It opens doors.
I’m passionate about learning, traveling, and connecting with people. Language brings all these passions together. This is where the idea of Feppy was born: 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?
FeppyBox is 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.
Our English-Spanish bilingual subscription box began in 2020 and has been growing steadily ever since. 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.
Each FeppyBox includes stories, music, and games designed so children can learn, laugh, and live in two languages.
MCA: What an amazing product! I wish my parents had Feppy Box for me when I was growing up. Tell us the meaning behind the name “Feppy.”
Ronit: Feppy got its name from combining the word haPPY in English and Spanish (FEliz), to embody all parents’ ultimate purpose: to see their kids happy. What better way to showcase it and to embed bilingualism than putting it together in both languages as our product.
MCA: That is an adorable meaning! What is your company’s mission?
Ronit: Our mission is to connect kids with the globe through language, in order to build a more inclusive and FEPPIER world around them. We strive to raise the next generation of open-minded, global citizens.
MCA: That is definitely a mission every parent can get behind! What comes in each monthly Feppy Box?
Ronit: Each monthly FeppyBox contains:
- Feppy Book, an original story in both English and Spanish.
- Each Book includes exclusive access to its Audio Video Book. The video not only offers unlimited fun learning, it also supports pronunciation. Each Audio Video Book can be watched in English or Spanish. The spark of bilingualism happens when a kid connects the content in both languages.
- Feppy Play, a hands-on activity to encourage bilingual play-based learning.
- Feppy Music, a new children’s song with bilingual lyrics, and exclusive online access to Feppy Music. Our adapted version of traditional children’s songs introduce Merengueton, Salsa/Trap Reggaeton/Vallenato, Electro Mambo and other Latin rhythms.
- Feppy Parents, 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 Feppy with their children.
MCA: Why is it important to learn a foreign language at an early age?
Ronit: Studies have shown that the best time to learn a second language is between birth and age 7. During those years, the brain is built to absorb information in an unconscious way.
We define bilingualism as life with two languages. Bilingualism is not a skill, but rather a lived experience that provides many lifelong benefits. This is the philosophy behind FeppyBox, to immerse kids in live language experiences through stories, music, and games.
Some of the benefits of exposing and teaching a second language at an early stage are: Kids learn faster and easier; it improves problem solving and creativity; it enhances future career opportunities; it connects children with other cultures, and it builds tolerance.
MCA: What kind of feedback have you received about Feppy Box?
Ronit: When we launched FeppyBox we didn’t have the Audio Video Book feature. We quickly recognized that pronunciation was key for parents to immerse their kids in a second language, and we produced it through Video Audiobooks. We’ve received much positive feedback on the combination of our Books and their Video Audio version, ranging from the fun of our stories to the advantages of listening and watching.
We are happy to learn that grandparents have bought FeppyBox for their grandchildren as a way to connect with them. 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.
MCA: What is next for Feppy Box?
Ronit: We recognize that bilingualism is not just Spanish and English. We are working towards offering this platform in other languages. We are also working towards adding a new product line for additional age ranges.
MCA: Thank you for a wonderful interview, Ronit! Make sure you check out Ronit’s MCA page for more information about her award-winning Feppy Box!
You can learn more about Ronit Shiro and her award-winning book, Feppy Box by visiting her MCA Shop pages.