Category Archives: Highlights

Every year ParentMap presents their annual Golden Teddy Awards, highlighting the best Puget Sound resources for parents. We hope you’ll spread the love by nominating Sponge in the following categories under Camps+Classes this year:

  • Engaging Infant + Tot Class
  • After-School Enrichment

Sponge is a Golden Teddy finalist/winner for eight years in a row!

  • 2018 – Finalist (Engaging Infant + Tot Class, After-School Enrichment)
  • 2017 – Winner (Passport-Ready Language or Art Class), Finalist (Engaging Infant + Tot Class, After-School Enrichment)
  • 2016 – Finalist (infant & Toddler classes, After school enrichment)
  • 2015 – Finalist (After school enrichment)
  • 2014 – Winner (After school), Finalist (Infant & Toddler classes)
  • 2013 – Finalist (Infant & Toddler classes)
  • 2012 – Winner (Infant & Toddler classes)
  • 2011 – Finalist (Infant & Toddler classes)

Along with showing your support, you’ll be entered to win over $1,000 in fabulous prizes. Round 1 (Nominations) run from April 3 to 14, and Round 2 (Finalist Voting) will be from April 24 to 30. Visit to cast your vote!

A Big Teddy Hug from us for your support!

Research shows that language learning increases cognitive ability for senior learners. Aside from the social benefits of exploring a different culture and learning new ways to communicate, learning a new language delays the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s as it increases the strength and agility of the brain.

Sponge partners with retirement communities to bring the joy of language learning to senior learners through our regularly scheduled French, German, Japanese, and Spanish classes. 

All of our classes are designed to be engaging and effective. We think the best way to learn a language is to be immersed in it and having fun. Our students learn a new language and discover world culture through exploration and hands-on activities.

Let us know of your interest through the form below:


Sponge has been chosen by Highline Public Schools (HPS) to provide Spanish and Mandarin language curriculum for use across twelve HPS elementary schools as part of the district’s new afterschool language enrichment program.

Highline Public Schools serves around 19,000 students in grades K-12 in the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac and White Center in Washington state. The district has 32 schools, including 18 elementary schools and serves a highly diverse population of students.

“We wanted to provide our students with a strong, research-based language curriculum with a flexible and customizable instructional approach. Equally important, we wanted language learning to be a fun experience for our K-6th graders, and were looking for a proven, turn-key afterschool language program”, said Dr. Kristin Percy Calaff, Director of Language Learning, Highline Public Schools.

Sponge’s curriculum is based on current research and an immersion approach with emphasis on learning and communicating via games, songs, and drama. Program materials include coursebooks with activity sheets, language journals, and self-assessments, picture cards, storybooks based on unit themes, and a strong alignment with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages.

“We are thrilled to partner with HPS and bring language learning to its elementary schools. HPS staff and language program teachers have been great partners. We are getting valuable feedback based on usage of our curriculum and will use these learnings to evolve our curriculum to better meet future needs’”, said Heike Missal, Sponge President.

As part of the Sponge-HPS agreement, Sponge is

  • Delivering curriculum training for Highline bilingual para-educators and teachers to lead the afterschool language classes.
  • Delivering Teacher Guides with detailed lesson plans for K-6 Spanish and Mandarin afterschool enrichment classes at Highline elementary schools.
  • Providing classroom materials and associated student coursebooks.

Give your young world citizen a head start in school by developing their sense of curiosity and independence with 14 hours a week of language immersion!

Sponge LanguagePlay program offers 4 days a week, three and a half hour long classes for 3 to 5 year old children who are ready for independent learning. The week is divided between Spanish and Mandarin classes, providing children an opportunity to get a headstart on two of the most spoken languages in the world.

At Sponge LanguagePlay, children, teachers, and staff come together to share their perspectives and gain a sense of global awareness. We believe in creating a warm, nurturing environment where children feel secure and can gain confidence in their own abilities as well as absorb and learn a new language in a natural setting.

Registration is now open for LanguagePlay classes. Program is offered at our Issaquah Center. Session runs from September 9, 2019 to June 11, 2020. Use coupon code Playful2019 to get $150 off your LanguagePlay classes.

We’re offering ten weeks of language immersion camp this summer, from June 24 through the end of August. Help your student keep up their Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and French skills over the summer months through games, cooking, science and art! Explore the schedule to find the right week and location for your summer plans.

Camp Schedule & Registration

Summer Camps

Each camp has an engaging theme for the week. Spanish campers can take a language journey to the beaches of Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Uruguay at the ¡Vamos a la Playa! Camp. Or maybe your student loves to learn about food around the world. We’re taking a linguistic and culinary tour of the Spanish-speaking world in Sabor Latino – Cooking around Latin America. Looking for a week of exploration? Your young archaeologist and linguist will learn more about The Secrets of the Aztecs, all immersed in language!

Interested in China? Learn about it in Mandarin. Explore the richness and variety of Chinese food culture through dumplings in our Dumpling Dynasty Camp. We’ll also take a trip to the Chinese Night Market and enjoy yummy street food, live shows and interesting shops. Finally, go on a week-long celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival with delicious moon cakes, colorful lanterns, and lively dragon and lion dances. There’s culture to be found in every corner!

Our Japanese camp is inspired by Japan’s favorite children’s story – Tale of the Gigantic Turnip. Immerse in Japanese language and culture with the help of our native-speaking teachers, and meet new language buddies in our week-long camp.

French campers will go on a wonderful Journey through the Francophone World! Spanning 3 continents, we’ll explore the language and culture of French Canada, work our way through beautiful France, and on to the colorful streets of Morocco. We’ll cap it off with a virtual trip to the Carribean island of Martinique. Bon voyage!

Come buy some holiday presents for your nearest and dearest!

Books will be on sale from $5 and up with a variety of great stories available, along with cultural books and language themed books at our Centers in Mt. Baker, Kirkland and Issaquah. A story time will also be held where we will be reading beautiful folklores in language.

Every child will be given a bookmark to take home to use in their favorite books. We’ll also be giving away a limited quantity of Sponge language books to the first three children to arrive.

So come spend some time with us! Buy stocking stuffers, presents to put under the tree for those you love as reading is one of the greatest presents you can give. With story time, you’ll also be able to immerse yourself for an hour in two different languages that you would like your child to learn or that you’ve always wanted to learn.

We’re looking forward to reading for you.

Storytime Schedule

  • KIRKLAND – December 10, Monday at 10:00am – 12:00pm
    • Story times – French at 10:00am and Mandarin at 10:30am
  • ISSAQUAH – December 12, Wednesday at 10:00am – 12:00pm
    • Story times – Spanish at 10:00am and Japanese at 10:30am
  • MT. BAKER – December 14, Friday at 3:30pm – 5:30pm
    • Story times – Spanish at 3:30pm and French at 4:00pm

Kids of all ages and their families are invited for an in-language holiday story time session with us at Half-Price Books, Redmond (7805 Leary Way, Redmond, WA 98052), on Thursday, December 6, 2018.

Celebrate family literacy, and immerse yourselves in language and culture with Spanish and Japanese folklores from 10am to 11am. See you there!

Registration is now open for our Spring classes which run from February 4, 2019 to June 16, 2019. We have a full schedule with weekday and weekend options in our Seattle, Kirkland and Issaquah locations.

Below are some enhancements to our Curriculum that will be sure to supplement language and cultural learning inside and outside the classroom:

  • Language Coursebook – provides a brief overview of the Sponge class elements and method, guidelines, and hand-outs for the whole course.
  • Storybooks – The phrases and vocabulary your child is learning in class are now weaved into stories you can read with them and enjoy. The storybook contains romanized text for languages like Mandarin and Japanese, with colorful illustrations and dedicated coloring pages for your young language learner. It also features Quick Response (QR) Code you can scan using your phone or another device to listen to the story in language – a great feature for pronunciation review for you and your little one! Our Summer Storybooks are already available for purchase here:
  • Sponge Online Portal – Free access to our new, interactive Online Portal to help parents and students with language learning, including pronunciation;
  • Two weeks of Cultural Classes at the end of the session in place of the Grand Review;
  • Each unit features a Final Project for JK classes as cultural extension;

Sign up now!

Looking for extensive immersion for your young language learner that combines free play, art, science, and basic literacy in the target language? Sign up now for our Sponge LanguagePlayTM Program!

Sponge LanguagePlay program is a half-day, twice a week,  immersive learning program where students learn a new language and discover world culture through exploration and hands-on activities.

At Sponge LanguagePlay, children, teachers, and staff come together to share their perspectives and gain a sense of global awareness. We believe in creating a warm, nurturing environment where children feel secure and can gain confidence in their own abilities as well as absorb and learn a new language in a natural setting.

The Sponge LanguagePlay curriculum goes beyond our regular once/week language classes by expanding it through the inclusion of  additional art, science, and basic literacy activities in the target language. Our LanguagePlay classes introduce students to culture through music, dance, food, language and dress, all in an immersion environment. This facilitates each child’s growth towards independence in our increasingly global society by building confidence, curiosity, self-esteem and friendships.

The Sponge LanguagePlay program is designed for 3 to 5 year-old children who are ready for independent learning. At this stage, kids are mastering their native language–irregular rules and all. They are picking up new vocabulary and ways to express themselves, and they naturally use these skills with their second language too. We play games, do crafts, practice basic literacy, sing, and move–all in language. Our curriculum focuses on practical everyday language with new, fun thematic units every 5 weeks.

Program is offered in Spanish, Mandarin, French, Japanese, and German at our Issaquah location. Session runs from October 15, 2018 to June 16, 2019.

Join in on the fun and sign up here!


Dress for mess and join Smart with Art at Sponge!

Join us as we explore an assortment of art mediums in an education environment. Discover art history and culture content as we expand our creative mind with our imagination. Each session, students will delve into a variety of art materials and methods through our processed oriented exciting lessons.

Experience clay, sculpture, metal, printmaking, charcoal, watercolors, acrylic, pastels and more! Each session offers all new and exciting projects, a variety of materials and methods, and stimulating art experiences. Don’t miss out on the Total Art Experience with Smart with Art this Fall. Our session includes a sketchbook and concludes with an enriching art show.

Art classes are conducted in English and begins Thursday, September 6, 2018 and runs through Tuesday, November 6, 2018 in our Mt. Baker and Issaquah Centers.

Sign up for classes here.