HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — There have been a lot of changes to get used to with the coronavirus pandemic. The decision CMS officials made to start the year with all virtual learning impacted thousands of families in the area.
A Huntersville family decided to take school on the road and along the way, they're hoping to make a real impact in the community.
The Babbitt family is on a journey in their RV to encourage other families to learn Spanish. Ir's their family's way of reaching out to people in their community with different backgrounds and cultures.
To some, two adults, five kids and one dog in an RV for three months may seem like quite the undertaking. The Babbitt family understands that.
“We might be a little crazy,” Adrienne Babbitt said as she loaded her family up to begin the journey around the country.
But the family is ready for a change of scenery and routine after 6 months of isolation because of coronavirus. Their three oldest children are all learning online to start the school year, so they decided to take it on the road.
“We’ve just determined that virtual learning from home is just a little too hard, we've been going a little stir crazy since March,” said Babbitt.
The family will stop to visit family, friends and national parks along the way. But the trip has a much greater purpose.
“Back in March, thinking about what can we do now? Our life is so different, we thought let’s do something that we're passionate about and let’s help bring other families together,” said Babbitt. The family’s passion is learning and teaching Spanish.
They’ve been raising their children to speak both languages and during the isolation of coronavirus, Adrienne started a new business, Learn with me Languages. There was a major interest, families across the country craving connection with each other.
In 3 months, 130 families have joined their family language exchange, interacting with each other and learning Spanish together over zoom. On the journey, the Babbitt’s will stop to encourage others to do the same.
They believe that language is a vital tool in building bridges in the community.
“By me knowing just a few phrases I’m able to help that woman in the grocery store who may be a little confused or I’m able to say hello to that neighbor,” said Babbitt. “Even if they already speak English well, it says I value your culture. When we raise up a generation of children who are bilingual, it helps create a more culturally diverse community that respects each other.”