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meet the Vander Zwaag family

The Vander Zwaag family are the veterans in our DLI parent series. With children in 6th, 4th and 2nd grades, they have the most experience walking this immersion journey. We think you’ll find their insights truly inspiring as they reflect on their experiences with this form of education.

img_4232-copyGregg and Monica Vander Zwaag live in Zeeland. Gregg works at Geskus photography, and Monica manages the active kids while volunteering in a mentorship program and working part time. Gina, 6th grade; Isaac, 4th grade;  and Hannah, 2nd grade; are all enrolled in Spanish Immersion through Zeeland Christian School.  We sat down with the family, this past August to unpack some of the reasons why they embarked on this journey and to listen in on why immersion education has become such a valued part of their children’s educational experience.

Gregg and Monica sat with Chris Marlink, add.a.lingua’s director of strategic impact, and shared the factors that influenced their choice of immersion, the ways they have seen immersion shape each child uniquely (the results and experiences aren’t all the same!). They also shared some words of wisdom for parents who are just beginning this journey.

The Vander Zwaags offer a message of love and perseverance, and we hope they encourage you as they have us. Look for more updates from the Vander Zwaags on our blog soon.

Filed under: dliparents, Spanish Immersion, Uncategorized

About the Author

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Kristi Van Dyk is an immersion parent who is passionate about offering dual language immersion as an educational option to all schools and districts. The opportunity to raise bi-lingual children, despite her family’s lack of second language proficiency has expanded the dreams she and her husband have for the future of their children. It is this passion for real life change that Kristi brings to all of our new partner schools. Kristi’s educational training began at Hope College in education in the areas of English and Mathematics for elementary. Kristi pursued additional training in brain based curriculum development through the Midwest Brain and Learning Institute as well as an M.A. in educational administration from Western Michigan University. You can find Kristi connecting with new potential partners, sharing experience with new parents and assisting with training of new teachers.

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